“It’s a good thing you’re not a philosopher,”

said his daughter to him one fine morning in the car as he went on about something philosophical.

And he thought, you know, she’s right.

“You know, you’re right,” he said, even.

And he thought, thank goodness I never speak explicitly about philosophy.

Or write about it explicitly.

He wondered what it would read like if he wrote about philosophy explicitly.

It would sound like this:

The elevator starts moving but existentialism reaches over and hits the STOP button with a big thumb. Before Cartesianism knew it, he’s got both of Cartesianism’s hands in  a viselike grip above her head and he’s pinning Cartesianism to the wall using his anguish… his other hand grabs her doctrine and yanks down, bringing her face up and his facticity is on hers… Her truth tentatively strokes his and joins it in a slow, erotic dance… His despair is hard against her corporeal body, which she reminds herself is the source of all untruth and illusions.

“It’s all pointless, in the end,” whispers existentialism in a gruff, stubbly whisper.

“That’s how it seems to you,” says heterophenomenology.

“Where’d you come from?” gasp existentialism and Cartesianism simultaneously, still whispering.

“Google Daniel Dennet,” says heterophenomenology. “You might want to try me, though, as an alternative to her,” it says, gesturing languidly towards Cartesianism.

“Not that it matters,” says nihilism.

At the touch of zeitgeist, Cartesianism quivers and gasps. Existentialism shakes his head as if to clear it from cobwebs, and walks around her there in the elevator full and increasingly fuller of philosophies and their throbbing elements, trailing his despair around the middle of her doctrine. The second time around, he suddenly flicks the despair, without any warning, and it stings Cartesianism underneath her ineffability … right in the metaphysical mind … The shock runs through her, and it’s the sweetest, strangest, hedonistic feeling …

Come outside

where the woodlice play

Where the worms run deep

And the ghosties sleep

Where the thorns are thick

And the mud is slick

And the wood is stacked so high

Come outside and I’ll tell you what

You whisper in your dreams

When you lie in bed and

I sit real close just inches

from your head

Come outside when the sun goes down

When the wind is cold when

the rain is strong

When it starts to snow

and I’ll tell you what

you want to know.

Careers in science: Helioseismology

She is quiet.


They drive down the road at night, the helioseismologist is tired and his daughter isn’t talking.

She just got off work after a long school day and she is 15, and the helioseismologist understands there are a million reasons why she might not be speaking, and a million more he cannot imagine, never having been a 15 year old girl himself, only fearing them or admiring them from afar.

That’s all you can do with a 15 year old girl, fear or admire her. Or love her, as in this case.

The helioseismologist drives through drizzle and night and freeway traffic, someone always going somewhere and he is thankful like you wouldn’t believe for this girl, and for her sister, and for their mother. He is thankful for his brother and sister, and for his mom and dad, and his uncles and aunts. The helioseismologist is thankful for his grandma, and for his grandpa he never met. And maybe his other grandparents he never met, and all his cousins. And other friends and relatives, past and future.

The helioseismologist is thankful for his painting gear and his music gear, for his writing pads and his yoga mat and his big, big bed. He is thankful writing was invented, and clothing and agriculture, poetry and the Internet.

The helioseismologist is thankful for other people, and the idea of artisinal anything, although he prefers the idea of doing simple things well – making soups or fruit salad, or bread.

The helioseismologist is thankful for meditation and mass production, the scientific method, flowers, sunrises, sunsets, meteorological phenomena in general, and something else he forgot. He is thankful for symbioism, mitosis and meiosis, virii, bacteria and interesting parasites.

He is thankful for singing and crossword puzzles, weight-lifting, and cross-country skis. He is thankful for massage, kissing and cutley.

The helioseismologist is thankful for stars and kangaroos and hedgehogs, normal hogs and olives both black and green, his garden in the back yard and the houses he would build some day if he had the money, the houses that would approximate his beautiful heart.

He is thankful for these and many other things, but he  would still like to talk to this girl, his daughter, the way they used to before they both got so tied and busy and whatever else.

The helioseismologist thinks about patting her on the leg; a love tap, his father called it.

The helioseismologist pats her on the leg.

I dreamed

about a woman with a miniskirt and no underwear.

that my dick was so big it hit me in the forehead.

that my beard was shiny black.

that my red cat was calico and defied gravity, walking on the wall.

that the beggar woman from the supermarket asked me for alms and i said no.

Come out

to the woodpile. The air is sweet and the clay is cold. Let her sleep while you stare at the apple tree and decide which limbs to prune. Plum tree too.

The day is cold but over quick enough.

There’s enough to hear despite the ringing in your ears: a scratching pen, a passing car, the clicking of a working house, a sigh, coffee beans grinding.

The stretching of a cat.

The air is sweet so come outside for a little while and let the young one sleep.