From "A Long Conversation"

All kinds of language fly into poetry, like it or not, or even if you’re
only
as we were     trying
          to keep an eye
         on the weapons on the street
     and under the street

Just here, our friend L.: bony, nerve-driven, closeted, working as a nurse when he can’t get teaching jobs. Jew from a dynasty of converts, philosopher trained as an engineer, he can’t fit in where his brilliant and privileged childhood pointed him. He too is losing patience: What is the use of studying philosophy if all that it does for you is enable you to talk with some plausibility about some abstruse questions of logic, etc . . . & if it does not improve your thinking about the important questions of everyday life, if it does not make you more conscientious than any journalist in the use of the dangerous phrases such people use for their own ends?

You see, I know that it’s difficult to think well about “certainty,” “probability,” perception, etc. But it is, if possible, still more difficult to think, or try to think, really honestly about your life and other people’s lives. And thinking about these things is NOT THRILLING, but often downright nasty. And when it’s nasty then it’s MOST important.

His high-pitched voice with its darker, hoarse undertone.

At least he didn’t walk out, he stayed, long fingers drumming.

– Adrienne Rich
in Midnight Salvage

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