Monday, October 31, 2011

Thoughts on beauty

Back in Germany, I was telling my friend AWOL about this girl back in the states I was in love with. My high school sweetheart, half-italian, half-jewish, huge breasts, long, thick brown hair, sweet brown eyes and a smile that could just melt you. I was heading back to the states, we were both newly divorced, she was graduating med school, we had been in the gifted classes together back in the day.

And AWOL, who was a couple years older, out of the service already, and living on the economy over there said

"So she's smart."




"Big ol titties"

you know it, bro.

"Has a nice personality"

the best.

"And she's gonna be a doctor, so she's gonna have money."

I guess so, but I'll be doing alright myself.

"Is she loyal?"

uh, I dunno, I guess.

"Cuz if she ain't loyal, she ain't worth a shit."

And then a few months later, she broke my heart and crushed the pieces into powder.

I still don't think I've recovered from that, and it's been eleven years.

I keep finding her in other women, projecting her like the bat signal on a smog-filled sky, and giving too much of myself, too soon. Living on hope instead of honesty.

Still insane, repeating the same thing, expecting different results. Maybe some day it will work.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

White Tiger

I don't pretend I can hold the wind
make a horse drink
or talk sense into a woman
or any human

but sometimes I pretend
to be a lot tougher than I really am

the question is
how thirsty
have you become

and how much blue ocean
you can hold in your belly
at once

my love comes in waves
that break on the sand and scatter
tiny castles, overtop the levees
washing away truth
your fingers write inside your eyelids

my love shines warm on your face
undemanding, unrelenting
and merciless
it will burn you to a cinder

so it's probably best to hide
behind the sunscreen and umbrella
you're better off
not dipping toes in my foamy surf

unless you want to get real
and stop running
from your reflection
in twin blue pools

beautiful child
showing brave
for the ash-white tiger
come to eat your fear and pain,

I swallow darkness,
cleanse mud,
and burn lies off impure gold,
Little girl, are you afraid of light?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How To Be A Great Writer

I guess this counts as a cover poem, like I posted the Ginsberg a while back, this offering of Bukowski's is my absolute favorite poem. 

What's best isn't what he says, but what he doesn't say, I wonder if you can hear it?

how to be a great writer

you've got to fuck a great many women
beautiful women
and write a few decent love poems.
and don't worry about age
and / or freshly-arrived talents.
just drink more beer
more and more beer
and attend the racetrack at least once a
and win
if possible.
learning to win is hard--
any slob can be a good loser.
and don't forget your Brahms
and your Bach and your
don't overexcercise.
sleep until noon.
avoid credit cards
or paying for anything on
remember that there isn't a piece of ass
in this world worth more than $50
(in 1977).
and if you have the ability to love
love yourself first
but always be aware of the possibility of
total defeat
whether the reason for that defeat
seems right or wrong--
an early taste of death is not necessarily
a bad thing.
stay out of churches and bars and museums,
and like the spider be
time is everybody's cross,
all that dross.
stay with the beer.
beer is continuous blood.
a continuous lover.
get a large typewriter
and as the footsteps go up and down
outside your window
hit that thing
hit it hard
make it a heavyweight fight
make it the bull when he first charges in
and remember the old dogs
who fought so well:
Hemingway, Celine, Dostoevsky, Hamsun.
If you don't think they didn't go crazy
in tiny rooms
just like you're doing now
without women
without food
without hope
then you're not ready.
drink more beer.
there's time.
and if there's not
that's all right

Monday, October 3, 2011

I am become whore, purveyor of words

It's no great secret that I am poor.

It's just damn hard to find a job that pays anything close to a decent wage with the black marks I have on my background.

So I've come up with a novel idea to help raise funds, pay my bills, and get a little further up off the ground than I currently find myself.

For the LOW LOW price of $5 US, I will write a poem for you.

The obvious go-to is a love poem for your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, etc, but feel free to think outside the box, fathers, daughters, sons, mothers, sisters, grandparents, BFFs, your dog, yourself, whatever you want immortalized in the unique verse that ONLY taojoannes can offer, I can get you for $5.

I specialize in romantic poetry, but I'm not currently in love, so let your love be my muse, and we both gain in the process.

Here's an example of a poem that wound up getting me engaged to a wonderful woman that I just couldn't keep Saturday Night Sniffles

It's good for any occasion, anniversary, birthday, Christmas, Valentines, weddings, engagements, funerals, divorce, graduation, expulsion, surgery, WHATEVER excuse you need to express to someone how you feel about them, or someone else.

But why do I need to pay a poet? I can just write it myself.

Poets need to eat, too, and your special someone deserves nothing less than the BEST expression of your truest feelings. You might understand your feelings, you might not, you might know how to evoke those feelings using the beauty of language and imagery to communicate, through language, on a level deeper than words alone can penetrate, you might not.

What poets do is take our feelings like love and pain and find those images and sounds that resonate with those feelings most strongly in the human consciousness, then we arrange them artfully for maximum effect.

You might not even like poetry, but I bet your girlfriend does, and while she would surely appreciate your amateur attempt at putting pen to paper, she would appreciate EVEN MORE the fact that you cared enough to hire the very best.

NOBODY writes poetry like Tao Joannes writes poetry, and I can make it as pathos-dripping, erotic, shocking, funny, or plain as you like. It's all about helping YOU express what you want to say in the way YOU want it said.

So how does it work?

Couldn't be simpler. You send a paypal payment, we connect via email or chat or google+ hangout or skype or telephone, you provide details about the subject, the theme, the type of poem, style of poem, how you feel about the subject, and, as best as you can, WHY you feel the way you do.

I then take that information, chew on it for a while, let it percolate, and then translate it into an EPIC poem, which I format in LibreOffice with or without additional graphics, and save as a PDF document which I make available to you. You can then print it and/or frame it, or just email it to your target.

What I recommend is to read it to your subject, because nothing makes it more personal than that moment, coming from your own lips. For bonus points, you can even memorize it, to show that EXTRA bit of effort and caring.

For a few extra dollars (another $5) I will print it out, sign it, and ship it to you.

But what if I don't have a special someone?

No problem, if you don't have anyone in mind and don't want me to write one about you, yourself, but still want one of my one-of-a-kind verses, you can send $5 for a signed print of any of my poems, many of which are on display on this blog.

Some examples:
Missing You
I Want To Say I Love You
My Name Is Not

Choose an Option
Contact Information

Saturday, October 1, 2011

ID vs Evolution

Evolution does not disprove the idea of an intelligent designer of the universe, and an intelligent designer doesn't rule out evolution.

There's a concept in computing known as "genetic algorithms" which arises from the recognition that, no matter how smart we think we are, there are certain systems that are simply too complicated for us to think our way through them to a solution, such as a neural network, which is a sort of simulation of a brain. 

So what a genetic algorithm does, in the case of neural nets, is quickly find a solution to a complex problem.

You start with criteria for an optimum solution, so you know what you're working towards.

Then you come up with a way to test for that solution, by subjecting the neural nets to a challenge, or series of challenges. The closer the neural net comes to approaching the ideal solution, the higher the score you assign to it. 

Then you generate the neural nets. In the first iteration, completely at random.

After subjecting the collection of nets to the test, the highest scoring nets are kept, the rest are culled.

The survivors are then "bred" or combined to produce child networks, and a certain percentage of the total collection are again randomly generated, or influence by randomness.

Repeat until you get something that works. 

Now if there is an intelligent creator behind all of this, maybe it recognized that there were things beyond its capacity to hold in its mind, and so it set up the starting conditions for this experiment to approach some sort of final goal, a solution to a problem it couldn't solve, and it came up with this reality as a way of running that experiment.

Maybe that final goal is the production of consciousness which can completely comprehend and commune with that creator. 

Science can't prove the existence of an intelligent creator, neither can it conclusively disprove it. All it can really do is disprove proposed characteristics of what that creator may or may not be. 

Until such time as a means of conclusively proving or disproving all possible manifestations of such a guiding or creating intelligence, the possibility MUST remain open, according to the rigor of scientific discipline. 

So the existence of "God" is an untested, untestable hypothesis, or if we're feeling generous, a theory.

There may be something to the idea of fractals or a fractal-like construct being involved. At the lowest possible level of reality, we've discovered four basic forces, the weak and strong nuclear reaction, electromagnetism, and gravity. 

As coincidence would have it, we've also discovered four basic building blocks in human DNA, which we call adenine (abbreviated A), cytosine (C),guanine (G) and thymine (T).

And then it gets weird, because most mystical traditions that have arisen include the idea of four elements, directions, winds, rivers, as allegories for the fundamental substance of existence. And in most cases, those are further grouped into a simple duality, with two of the four in each of the two groups.

The most obvious and well-known example of this is the tai-chi tu, or "ying yang" symbol, which elegantly describes the four fundamental forces, and informs the I-ching, which describes the 64 possible unique combinations of those four forces (when you consider that two of the forces are interpreted as transitional or "moving" from one state to another).

Not that it's much better than any other similar system, but it's certainly the most systematically disciplined. 

Now, whether this is a result of some sort of divine intelligence communicating with its creation, or simply a natural result or function dependent upon the way the human mind works, who knows? It, as of yet, can neither be proven nor dis-proven in any but the most superficial ways. 

So this myth remains "Plausible" and I can't tell you whether or not an intelligent designer exists. 
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