on presuming to be a poet

on presuming to be a poet

you ask me why i write
then look askance
when i tell you it is
— merely a lense
for my poor vision—
and aid for my stuttering tongue

July 28, 2020 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

A Long Hiatus

I can start writing again now about some real things as well as at least occasionally ‘publishing’ some poetry. I realized recently that I was being very egotistical when I judged my own poetry to be bad when others appreciated it. I know quite certainly I’m not my writing’s best judge, because I throw out most of it, and others have protested. It’s compulsive and obsessive. The real root is having been adopted into a Navy family, and making the rather startling transition in less than a year from a rural type (“country boy”, and quite literally) into a “rug rat” and within a couple of years I was a gang leader. I believe this is the first time I’ve admitted that. It wasn’t the last time. If I had been one my second year in Japan, it would have been a different gang. By gang I mean a bunch of people who have common ‘principles’, aims and goals mostly provided by their desperate need for a leader.

It’s rather difficult to stop that; yes, that’s a deliberate understatement. You can’t. I recently [oh, hell, I’m old; seven years ago is practically yesterday] found out that my classmates from high school remembered me. It turned out that apparently a lot of them were basically trying to copy me. My minor problem was that starting at thirteen, I really couldn’t communicate with my peers. That did turn out to be a misconception. The one person in the de Jong family to whom I was closest understood me. He merely hadn’t yet managed to find a way to express himself. When I saw him in 2013 and it was blatantly evident, I realized again how many bad mistakes I’ve made. “Why are you always so silent?” I suggested on Quora that it was “Because every time I do people tell me they don’t know what I’m talking about.” Although somewhat true, it’s much more “It’s because I hear so much better when I’m not speaking.”

At that age, it was true. I could talk with teachers pretty much on their own level.

At age 15, talking to my peers was indeed fruitless, and teachers started literally running from me when they could see I was approaching them because they knew I’d ask a question that wasn’t easy to answer and more often than not they didn’t know what it was. [I was 17 when I graduated. By all rights I should have taken summer class, taken the one class that only “seniors”–once you’ve graduated from junior you are that–could take and get the one credit I needed. However, I was determined to join the Navy as an enlisted man. How sure was I that I could have gone to Annapolis from the start? I wasn’t surprised the first day on the USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) when I was offered Annapolis for my signature. I was four months out of boot camp. Having placed at the top .1% of the nation’s high school students in every subject but math–including subjects I’d never formally studied–and then having confirmed I wasn’t crazy (to myself, anyway) by having answered every question on the Stanford-Binet test correctly, which was supposed to be impossible and invalidated the test. However, I couldn’t join the Navy until I was 17 and my–adopted parents, aunt and uncle by blood, along with my ‘sister’ and the brother who turned out to be an incestuous pedophile and every tangled and twisted turn you can imagine–were simply not people I understood and entirely mistrusted. Waiting for a year (almost) wasn’t something I thought I could endure. Enough, I’m not in the least proud of this. In my experience I was normal. I didn’t feel abnormal.]

And, yes, by the age of 16 (when I took that test) I was already beyond desperate. I was taking honor classes and being told to never answer a question unless no one else could. Perhaps I should add that I had a November birth date. If you haven’t added the years up already, yes, I was 5 years old when I started in first grade.

All I wanted to do with that I.Q. test was ‘prove’ [the empirical scheme toward ‘truth’ only involves the transition of an hypothesis to a theory] that I was sane. My sociology teacher/counselor was the one who taught me that answering all the other questions correctly plus the ‘control’ question (anything less than all the other questions answered correctly meant that the chance of answering it correctly basically went from incalculable to one in five) invalidated the test. He also told me, after I told him I was going to take the test at the Navy recruiter’s office (why? it was free, and otherwise cost at least $75, and in the late 60’s that was a fair amount of money for most kids in high school–I blew mine, too, on books, mostly $.25 DAW (Donald A. Wolheim) paperback books–necessarily science fiction; at that time most nonfiction could be had free), to be sure and not answer all the questions correctly. Of course, when I found out I had, I told him; he shook (side to side, since that varies culture to culture) his head and frowned at me. “But I didn’t think I could.” He gave me a sad, understanding half-smile and just walked away.

When I joined the Navy I found out the reason for his reaction.

July 24, 2020 at 11:19 pm Leave a comment

An Addendum; a Partial Autobiography

I agonized over this for many years. Part of the reason was that basically my story can’t be true, because it involves things that were absolutely illegal (I was told so, told that I could refuse…but I would have to do it anyway and at the same time I was told that I could do whatever I wanted–it’s possible that this even included using drugs which would have had to involve allowing me to know in advance when a test would come). It would have to involve some unbelievable abilities on my part; it would have to have as a premise that I had the highest IQ of anyone who took the test prior to 1968. I would have to have had, in fact, the highest IQ in the world at that time, with the possible exception of Albert Einstein.

I would have to have a reading speed of about 10K per minute (but considerably slowed by turning pages–printouts from the teletype machine didn’t involve pages, and from the printer there were folds; it would have been slowed further by the fact that I was proofreading [YES, while reading] to about 5K per minute and the fact that the documents which were used as source for messages were invariably paged and not unusually handwritten, almost always had errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. I also often had comments to make on the given subject, if they came from the admiral. The admiral in question was the Commander of Seventh Fleet–the US Far East Navy. Oops. I meant, the Commander of the US Far East Armed Services. That means all except clandestine operations were under his command. They were to some extent but deniability had to be maintained.

I would have to have been allowed to do research using the Navy Communications network. I would have to be a genius by normal standards. That ‘genius’ would have to only an ability to ‘see’ patterns and manipulate them, remembering only the patterns photographically. That would be the source of my private saying then, “Tell me two things and you tell me three”. When told hundreds of thousands of things, many more patterns lie revealed.

To restate that, I had a “want to know” clearance. For everyone else that was “need to know”.

Within two months of becoming a ‘traffic checker’*, I was followed in every port except Yokosuka, our home port. I was told there would be, before it started. That couldn’t have been the entire truth, but it doesn’t matter. They even had someone in the communications (Radioman) division whose sole real purpose was watching me. After I wrote a note to the Navy (two and a half pages, 8″ X 11.5″, handwritten) they started photographing my log book while I was absent. That note included knowledge of things I never read a thing about in Navy Communications; an example was the knowledge about what the 7 geostationary and the two maneuverable satellites were for.

This will do as a prologue or part of one. I’ve become convinced that I actually need to do this–impart information.

June 5, 2020 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment

Let the Buyer Beware

Let the Buyer Beware

Let the buyer beware.
It was in winter
that he met you, and
shyly touched you:
frost-whitened trees, and grass,
disconsolate…
he gave you a stone,
a small flawed agate.
(“I look for them on the beach,”
he said. “It gives me
something to do.”)
It was in spring, perhaps,
that he loved you, though
he never claimed it.
You took him
or he took you…
the definition troubled you,
at times.

It was in sered summer
that he left, still
saying nothing of love.
Weeds in the socks,
in the hose…and if
you could (somehow)
clean the heart, too?
Let the buyer beware.

April 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

truth

truth

it seems long since
i accosted the
strange-eyed god.
and, o, the gifts
that he gave me:
all
have brought some joy, and all some pain:

but the worst–the best–
is sight.
_____________________________________________
There will be a lot of repetition from earlier posts in the ‘voices’ category, which is an ancient poetry manuscript. I lost the computer copy of the ms. that I cut each poem I posted from. Pardon the sloppy grammar.

April 21, 2020 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

rebirth

rebirth

…in the years of my decline
(i can recall this
quite clearly, you know)
i knew visions well.

i would not speak
to strangers: i was
an unruly tyrant
with my kin.

but i still was
foremost counsellor (though
given to sudden rages, and no one quite dared
challenge that).

mostly, of course, it was
the unseemly pains of age, acid gut and aching joints,
and other discomforts…

o, but i had my power!
i was dressed in pomp, all attended–for i was,
despite those rages, still wise.

ah, though: reborn, freed
of both pains and pomp, i wonder; who will requite me
for all the smiles i lost?

April 20, 2020 at 1:34 am Leave a comment

The Blind Woman

The Blind Woman

The blind woman is dancing
out on the dimlit floor, shaking
her head
and tossing her golden hair
(i have felt her
heavy, well-kempt
scented hair), her gestures somehow formless,
unknowing.

She doesn’t even know
i watch her.
(I sip my beer, and sigh.)
What does she think of, who
does she see, lost
in her private world?

Later, walking away, muttering silently to my self, i wonder:
who watches my
private dances?

April 19, 2020 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

Stimulus Checks and Social Security

They’ll send it. To the address or direct deposit used by Social Security. The Portal is only for income tax filers that received a debit or refund on income tax; you

    cannot

check otherwise. The information is from another section on the IRS site.

April 16, 2020 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

About Lying

“A lie is signalled by the liar looking away, generally down and to the left.” Not necessarily.

If you have lied successfully and feel the urge to confess I have one word of advice; Don’t. You’re not doing it for the sake of anyone else, you’re doing it for yourself and it almost always has bad consequences. The best lies are mostly true, but slanted by means of comments and implications.

Language doesn’t allow telling the truth. The actual truth lies in the experience itself and not at all with the unavoidable distortions that language (its definitions and complete lack of ability to express personal experiences are what cause this; language is devised for communication and thus only for group experience; unique interpretations are beyond its ability to support, which is why original thinkers–I’m not claiming to be one–experience unending failure to communicate). Remember and absorb that.

And then remember that what your groups actually know about you is very little.

Also, at least the largest part of the so-called unconscious mind is simply that part which doesn’t employ language. If you’re dubious that we don’t think in language, consult any neurologist.

April 16, 2020 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

About The Stimulus Check

The Portal only works if you had a refund or owed money on income tax. Also, it’s giving some Social Security direct deposit accounts a message that…they don’t have enough information to send it. YOU CANNOT COMMUNICATE WITH IRS ATT*.

Also, of course, payments are being delayed so Trump’s signature can be on checks. How…how…admirable of him. Another ‘new’ for the presidency. He may have done a lot more than any other president; unfortunately, that’s because almost all his moves were bad and none were entirely good.

*at this time

April 16, 2020 at 12:25 pm 1 comment

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