Posts filed under ‘psychology’

The Fight or Flight Syndrome

The currently correct form of this saying (“the only response to attack is fight or flight”) is wrong.


The choice is to flee, fight or submit.


Civilization is the art of submission, and language is its vehicle.–


Societies also can’t survive without language.


Corrected 3/28

March 5, 2018 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment



the meanings you seek
i think died long ago. silence
can bear many freights. i speak not,
expecting no listener; my words
are uttered only to the void. some understandings
are hard to bear,
can’t be forgotten.

the shape a gesture makes
remains, i think; i’m not sure.
certainly, at times, i’ve
withheld my self. to not care…

i watch you watching me,
and say nothing. what could i tell you
you don’t already know?–
you do not hear
my unspoken words. but then,
you never heard when i spoke.


Yes, this has a lot to do with my evaluation of human relationships and the ability to communicate outside of assigned roles–which have generally been presented as ‘truth’, and thus any disagreement must be lies.  The implication I just made was not at all incidental.

January 12, 2018 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment



I find myself unable
to even outstretch an arm
to pause you!  (am i, then,

I would have touched your hair,
if i could’ve.  (You wouldn’t
meet my eye.)  I would have held
the nervous hands
that told your tresses
like some rosary.  I would have
stilled your nimble lips, i would have
buried myself
in your russet hair.

–What was it
i thought to surprise
in your
snowfed, twinkling eyes?

I have, of course, no copies
of your poetry.  Tell me,
what coin may i pay? there were only
a table and a few chairs
between us.  What made these
foetal gestures
long for birth?

It has been more than a year
since i’ve slept with a woman.
Before that, three years.
Speak to me not of soft words!
i am untouched.  This greening
summer’s-verge spring
tells me of life:
i celebrate endings.

I sing most commonly
of unrequited love.  (Perhaps
all cynics
are merely disappointed lovers.)

Is there some barrister
who might plead my case
in your court? i have to try
to touch you, you know.
If not your heart, your mind:
and i already know
i want both.

What will you think
when you read these
wandering lines?  Appearances.
I would trace
the lines of your face
with a trembling finger.
I’d bank
and tend your fires.
(but what hand
traces your sway’s outlines,
on what moony nights?)

paul told me marriage is better
than burning.  i saw
no ring on your finger.
autumn lady,

i have had too many
winter lovers.  (Your eye
yet avoids mine.)  I imagine
walking over to you, and saying,
“Tell me your name, do.  Gift me
with your smile.  Take my hand
if even for a moment.  Your words
inspired me.”

–I am silent.  I keep
(you feel it, i know)
glancing at you.  Anticipations.
I cannot, somehow, rise.

Eventually, i leave, holding
your face like a flickering Grail.
I have never loved
another poet.  What do you use to catch a poet?  a
butterfly net?  Slender
lissome lady, this

is my swansong.  have you
pretty stones to give me,
or perhaps a flower?

–as the shadows lengthen,
i pen this, pausing

fair poet, i
would pass some words
with you.  i do not wish
nor hope to pause
your rhythmed sway.  yet just
perhaps our paths
may for a moment cross.

but these lines
are never sent:  the memory of
her face recedes, i recover
my comfortable solitude.

–and those gestures, those
momentary dreams merely
fade away.


Pretty much happened.  I also read my poetry at that little gathering in so low a voice that only those in the front row could hear me, by straining.

February 3, 2017 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Deflection of Blame

Trump deflected blame for the confusion at airports over the weekend on protesters and on a computer outage at Delta Air Lines Inc. that caused flight cancellations, even though that occurred more than 48 hours after the president’s order and lasted only three hours.


There was a president who served three terms.


There is a mode in which the country allows extraordinary powers to the president.  Martial law can (and as I recall is) be enforced without any other approval–I mean martial law is the default in this situation.  Rights are abrogated.


Trump came into office claiming this mode.  This mode is called “a state of war”.  As I recall it must be formally declared (in order for these powers to be invoked).  As I recall during both World Wars trading was suspended on the stock market/funds were simply held.  Surely I’m wrong.


There is a Republican majority which is apparently eager to join with the Russians in a (Russia-defined) fight against ISIS.


Trump is first and foremost a salesman.  That defines his morality.  He is very wealthy, which makes it impossible for him to identify with the average citizen of this nation–of whatever race, creed or other identifying characteristic.  Examination of his business records with an eye to honesty I found less than totally reassuring.


If you read The Art of War or The Prince (the latter I found easier, I admit), you will find that the best way for the King to deflect blame is declare an enemy and blame everything on him.  This would also be an ideal step toward creating a tyranny, and it’s not clear at all that that would be widely resisted.  It would be welcomed by some, clearly.


I was forced into my job in the Navy because of what they fancied a certain talent at pattern analysis, and familiarity with a somewhat large class of ideas, hypotheses and theories.


“This is not a drill.  This is not a drill!  All hands on deck!”

January 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment



voices, from another room
thought long empty:
visions, haunting ghosts.
(i rarely search
my memory, these days;
there are
far too many voices)

as you investigate, find
nothing, and stoop
to tidy, you refuse to wonder

what might have answered, had
you responded to that
long-remembered voice.

(:Voices, from another room
thought long empty…)


I wonder if anyone wondered.  Yes, a ms. titled after a poem in it.  If there’s a question that seems obvious, I don’t know, roughly coeval.  *It is also Schrodinger’s cat and I also don’t know how to umlaut easily–okay, Doc, I’m too lazy.


I thought of making up a poll on how unpleasant people find my prosaic ramblings and realized they would probably tell me.  They’re welcome to do so as long as it doesn’t involve vulgarity too extreme*.  If they make me feel really paranoid I’ll just up the home defenses and rely on my nonexistent hearing.


OOPS.  Tell me if I get too highbrow in the language too.  I was just doing that.  I’ve tried to avoid it as much as I can for many years now–25?  Advice from a writer.  Sometimes doesn’t work with poetry at all and maybe overdoing it now.  <burnout>  It was mostly an appropriate gesture to  make at this point, and I hope that makes sense to someone…



January 16, 2017 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

On True Love And Its Essential Value

On True Love and Its Essential Value

having turned
and turned again
to that (now faded)
portrait of you, a bust…

You are so much
a part of me
there is no place
i can say, you began…

And i knew this, that there
was no forgetting.
I knew that then.
I did not hold.  I let go.

having turned
and turned again
to your portrait…at length, for a while, i manage to
look away.

Actually quite true–except for having a bust.  I have no pictures of her at all, unless memory counts.  It happened–that year did–about 38 years ago.  I try not to think of her, and when I do, it is as if (to others) I were having an ‘absence seizure’ or petit mal.  Some paths you may only walk once, and expect afterwards unending echoes, so to speak.

And how could I do aught else?  I’d even said I loved her.  I’m trying to learn that phrase again with my brother.  Before that, my adopted mother, who would cherish the phrase for a moment and then think of something cruel to do; I even had witnesses.  Oh, and I had to say it, or I wasn’t being dutiful.  Before that…more to forget.  Nice to have actually forgotten some things.  Oh well.  Things happen; we all occasionally live “in interesting times.”

September 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment


Any absolute statement in a relative universe is automatically false–except one, that it’s relative.

That means when you draw the limits of a definition, for instance (when you use exclusive definitions, that is, and do not notice irrelevant ‘facts’–and can refuse to accept said facts (however, a ‘fact’ is a rather odd notion in these days of photo alteration software, not that there was another form ever used or anything).  You also tend to buy into a notion of linear causation, which actually does cause immediate, intermediate and longterm problems with any sort of attempt at a working philosophy.  Modernly, said philosophy would consist of a psychological, political, religious or social theory basically.  Openly religious people would insist on calling the  usage of it faith.  The others would contest any such usage hotly, saying that theirs is a science strictly of fact and therefore does not require belief.  This happened, again, recently, to me.  I forgot the economics majors, but I do lump them in with the political believers.  The first thing the sociologists, psychologists and political scientists (what a term) are supposed to do, incidentally, is avoid believing in political systems.  It is very historically evident.

I’ll end the day with a word.  It’s “expediency”.  Basically, it’s getting to the end as quickly as possible, from cutting in line to skipping a line or three in the assigned book to having a few people quietly killed so that one can get things accomplished.

I’ve noticed people who make absolute statements tend to have much less problem with expediency, from notion to usage.  I wonder if that’s coincidence.

April 8, 2015 at 10:47 pm Leave a comment

The Supposed Skeptic

Why didn’t he note that the approved Gospels are from the Greek, not any Hebrew translation?  Faith is faith.  “There is no scientific evidence” is his major point; science is as much a system of faith as is any other.  A controlled environment (one of the necessities for a scientific experiment) translates to an artificial one.  The assumption of causation is another–let alone linear and singular causation.  Should make for some good reading and good laughs, though.


(Language itself is a system of belief.)

April 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

On Faith and Supposed Knowledge

–read the comments.  A system of faith is just that.  I think my comment (if you could spot it) is fairly succinct and to the point.


April 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm Leave a comment

Asians and Embarassment

I’d say the West is slow to learn.  Honor is probably lost completely in the modern world, due the role of the “barbarian”–and the icon goes back to the much-touted (and multiple, actually) Fall of Rome.  Stories like this about failure (of the satellite launch) reek of embarassment.  Loss of face is still a big thing there; it’s sort of a cultural imprint.  The white man is used to being an ass, I guess (speaking as one of them); our anger is generally short-lived.  When it isn’t, our doctors term it psychotic and our legal systems term it an imprisonable offence (along, apparently, with epilepsy).  If someone who can’t stand being embarassed is in the same class you are, and has the potential to be a real pain in the ass, and really doesn’t much like you in the first place–you don’t go out of your way to embarass him and not expect trouble.

Then again, what do you expect?  These guys are all out for the column inch, from reporters to supposed scientists.  Pardon me, their fifteen minutes in the golden sun of television half-life.


P.S.  Full disclosure:  I lived in Japan for two years as a child and for about three years as an adult my home port was there.  I had contact with actual Japanese outside the envelope of governmental dealings.  The average American has no understanding at all of how to deal with the average Asian, and consistently does things that could easily be construed as deliberate offences–constantly.

April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

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