The Galactic Thinker — Onthe Planet of Clueless Poets

(a story with a poem in it)

“Why are they clueless, Dad?”

“Because nowhere in their writing is the issue of Broader Survival, now that they have their local/immediate needs met, and now that we know about the greater harsh and deadly universe that we precariously exist in, and certainly not Broader Survival as a philosophical concept, which renders them fools, meaning ultimately suicidal. They are going through life like blind bats, and at pretty much the same mental level of existence: exist, procreate, and do not think beyond that, which is inadequate for dealing with broader threats to life in the universe, broader in this case meaning threats beyond our limited physical senses, everything from viruses to gamma ray bursts.”

“But the people attempting poetry are more intelligent than bats, Dad…”

“Yes, but their minds have been twisted by past ignorances. So instead of adopting the Problem Solver’s Mindset, which would be the sanest thing to do, they are consumed with petty goals, and usually petty social goals, which do nothing for their broader prospects of survival, nor ours. The Problem Solver’s Mindset would have both in mind.”

“Do you think you are right, Dad?”

“Yes, and I hope that this story hits them right between their eyes…”

“So our life philosophy is not just a collection of trite sayings like all others?”

“No.”

“Are we on the planet yet?”

“Yes. We are now on the planet, courtesy of the transportation technology that uses dark literary matter…”

“So where are the clueless poems?”

“Here is a good sampling from a site for beginners and passing dilettantes…”

AcrosticAfricaAloneAmericaAngelAngerAnimalAnniversaryAprilAugustAutumnBabyBalladBeachBeautifulBeautyBelieveBipolarBirthBrotherButterflyCandyCarCatChangeChicagoChildChildhoodChristianChildrenChocolateChristmasCinderellaCityConcreteCoupletCourageCrazyCultureDanceDarkDark humorDaughterDeathDepressionDespairDestinyDiscriminationDogDreamEducationElegyEpicEvilFairyFaithFamilyFarewellFateFatherFearFireFishFishingFlowerFogFoodFootballFreedomFriendFrogFunFuneralFunnyFutureGirlLGBTQGodGolfGraduateGraduationGreedGreenGriefGuitarHaikuHairHappinessHappyHateHeartHeavenHeroHistoryHolocaustHomeHomeworkHonestyHopeHorseHouseHowlHumorHuntingHusbandIdentityInnocenceInspirationIronyIsolationJanuaryJourneyJoyJulyJuneJusticeKissLaughterLifeLightLimerickLondonLonelyLossLostLoveLustLyricMagicMarriageMemoryMentorMetaphorMirrorMomMoneyMoonMotherMurderMusicNarrativeNatureNightOceanOctoberOdePainParisPassionPeacePeoplePinkPoemPoetryPovertyPowerPrejudicePridePurpleLgbtqRacismRainRainbowRapeRavenRedRememberRespectRetirementRiverRomanceRomanticRoseRunningSadSchoolSeaSeptemberShoppingSickSilenceSilverSimileSisterSkySleepSmartSmileSnakeSnowSoccerSoldierSolitudeSometimesSonSongSonnetSorrowSorrySpringStarStrengthSuccessSuicideSummerSunSunsetSunshineSwimmingSympathyTeacherTelevisionThanksTigerTimeTodayTogetherTravelTreeTrustTruthValentineWarWarningWaterWeatherWeddingWindWinterWomanWomenWorkWorld

“Philosophy is not in there?”

“No.”

“Why are we using beginners and passing dilettantes for our study, and not sophisticated, serious established poets?”

“Because they are ALL clueless. The sophisticates only present cluelessness in more depth and detail.”

“But they are still clueless…”

“To the last. What you have is mental schlock that is prettified, stylized, and cleverly and finely crafted. It is still mental schlock. So there are our beginners and passing dilettantes, both in poetry and especially in thinking… just pick a topic. Just do not pick philosophy.”

“We can’t, it is not there. So you would have them all give up on poetry, Dad? Stop writing poems?”

“I would have them get a clue so I can finally enjoy their poetry! It is like the thoughts that our own author just had while taking a shower and brushing his teeth, that Clever Cluelessness does not cut it. Nor does clueless sensitivity or pretend concern which is also clueless and deceitful, as well as clueless bemoaning’s about the sorry state of humanity or whatever species you are, especially when the core problem is cluelessness, meaning bad philosophies, and, most frustratingly, they just do not see the connection between woe and philosophy, as the list clearly illustrates, and it gets worse!”

“Worse?”

“Ringing an alarm bell!”

“Why is that worse?”

“Because they are not ringing it due to concern for the issue, they are ringing it due to vanity, as in, ‘Look at ME! I am ringing the alarm bell! Give me awards and plaudits and esteem and distinguished credentials! It’s all about MEEEEEE!”

“They think little of philosophy, don’t they, Dad…”

“Very little, and if at all. That is why few of them offer answers, and when they do make feeble attempts at it, they offer answers that do not and have not worked, since they missed the fundamental cause of the problem, which is bad philosophy, and thank you, academia, for bad philosophy.”

“Their disdain for philosophy is because they do not know about our philosophy yet, Dad, only the lame philosophies of the present and the past, which actually justify their low opinions of and complete dismissals of philosophy.”

“True. As for topics, what you will find in the list are that half of the topic themselves are symptoms of cluelessness, while the other half will have poems written about the topic from completely clueless viewpoints.”

“So that is what we will find?”

‘That is what I found. Go ahead. Sample them. Clueless, all. It is almost intolerable. You will find the same results even if you search for the best poetry on any planet. They are all philosophically clueless and hence ultimately suicidal, and to compensate, many are pretentiously serious, and the rest desperate for attention, usually by mimicking clueless celebrities, their goal being to take the shortest route to becoming yet another rich but clueless celebrity.”

“But imitation is how one learns a craft, Dad!”

“Not in my case. I took the basic building blocks that styles and fashions are made out of and I began creating with the fundamentals rather than with ready-made styles, or to current fickle and fleeting fashions…”

“But houses are built faster with prefabricated pieces, Dad…”

“Ha ha ha… nice analogy. Let’s see how it stands up. What kind of ‘house’ would imitative poetry be? Just as good as the original?”

“You would think so, and with a little improvement here and there, maybe even better!”

“Or, just as likely, they will have missed a whole lot of essential details, and their result will be crap, or they could be made out of papier-mâché, my messieurs and mesdames…”

“MIss yours and may damn?”

“Non.”

“Don’t pout, Dad!”

“Messieurs and Mesdames. See my French beret?”

“Are you French?”

“No.”

“Ah-ha! You are posing and pretending!”

“Oui oui.”

“Wee wee?”

“Forget it!”

“Ok. OK! But won’t it take a lifetime by using the method of creating with fundamental building blocks to create anything worthwhile? You are talking about making bricks from scratch!”

“No, I would at least buy the bricks prefabricated, since mine would be horrible! The issues are time and effort, i.e. how much you have to devote to the task. I had a lifetime, though that was still not enough to reinvent the brick…”

“So it comes down to being a practical choice…”

“Yes, and I’ve had that lifetime, grueling as it was.”

“But you would not wish it upon others, would you, considering all of the pain and hardship you had to go through?”

“No. They can engage in their mimicry. Just don’t bother me with it. So there you go, many topics with just such mimicry and pretense, and nothing of real value other than people going, ‘Look how poetic I can be on that topic!’.”

“Isn’t that an affliction of being right handed, Dad?”

“Hahaha. not really. That is just one of my pet notions. Handedness is not a binary digital phenomenon, as if reality were composed of only one’s and zero’s…”

“But it would be in a holographic universe…”

“Yes, at the basic building block level. In our physical universe, handedness is analog, with a gradual gradient from one end to the other. Graphically, it looks like this:

“Haha, you made Right Handers the zero!”

“Yes, and Liberal Progressives can thank me for not only writing gender-neutral, but race-neutral, also.”

‘You could have use the black and white analogy?”

“Yes. So Malcolm X and friends owe me one.”

“In reading the poems, we see people struggling to create worthwhile fare, Dad…”

“No kidding? Well, maybe times are changing. Usually they are engaging in a vain attempt to display their fantastic sensitivity, deep worldly wisdom, and unusually artistic observations of nature and people and societies, and all without really trying.”

“Yes, to be fair, we also saw literary triflers, just ‘giving poetry a shot’, as if one might, by chance, have an innate natural ability to write first-class poems right from the beginning without any work or effort, and the worst by copying successful poets, as if that formula will instantly and magically work.”

“You never know. Such things have the same odds of winning as your winning a State Lottery… millions to one, granted, but not zero… and you never know unless you try. So that is the mentality behind it, and that is why poetry suffers the most, being such a shallow pond to jump into.”

“Shallow?”

“You need not have to do a Tolstoy and write War and Peace. A few short quatrains and you’re there.”

“So we have mountains of this trifling garbage that fell short of the mark?”

“I would say ‘landfills’.”

“So any good poems will be en-mass dismissed with the landfill poems and buried with them and never found, and thus never have their worthy effect on their species?”

“That is a hazard, yes, especially when young poets are taught more to be aggressive marketers and get their poems published rather than to write something worthwhile. So the published landscape is littered with pure garbage, and that not only goes for poetry, but for all other subjects as well.”

“So why do you write at all, Dad? It sounds futile. Your work will never be found, and your message never heard…”

“I get my fulfillment in the creating, not the selling.”

“So you need a champion for your work!”

“I suppose that I do, kids… but in the meantime, and not to hold our breaths for that, we continue to create with a mind toward creating finely-crafted works that have some relevance and meaning…”

“Or world-shaking with respect to yours… but your work is rough around the edges, Dad…”

“And finely so… kind of like you kids…”

“Who have a ways to go…”

“Yes, just like our philosophy and my writing, it is safe to assume…”

“Are you striving for any particular style, Dad?”

“No. I go through many styles. The common thread is my spirit. I mix fun with depth. Depth with fun. The British would call it ‘cheeky’.”

“Cheeky?”

“I’m guessing that it refers to your cheeks when they puff out as you smile after you’ve said something witty and clever.”

“Though you try to mix originality and profundity into your cheekiness…”

“As will you, since you have no choice but to mimic me! Ha! It is nature. Don’t fight it…”

Do you read the poems of others, Dad?”

“No, because they are clueless. It would pain me. I do scan them for interesting words, which I then stir together in a broiling cauldron of thought, and the resulting brews of poems are always unexpected.”

“Why didn’t you say ‘steaming, swirling cauldron of thought’?”

“That would be Purple Prose.”

“So? Are you going to blindly follow rules?”

“There is a good reason not to use it here. The word ‘cauldron’ is already associated with the background scene of witches hovering over their witch’s brews, which the reader will have filled in mentally, from experience. Any wordy attempt by you to describe it would only diminish the rich scene that the reader already sees.”

“so you do not choose gratuitous subjects just to put on a pretense of seriousness in order to gain respectability or popularity?”

“No, that is what beauty contestants do. Also, such subjects are clueless and they miss the mark, since they are symptoms of cluelessness and not the underlying cause, bad philosophies.”

“So that is the mark?”

“Yes, what is really wrong with humanity.”

“Humanity?”

“Or whatever species is writing the poetry. If a young caterpillar came along and said, ‘Look what I wrote!’ You would pat it on the head and tell it to run along, because it has no clue about broader issues and the fundamental cause of woe on the planet.”

“Broader issues?”

“Broader Survival.”

“The fundamental cause of woe?”

“Bad philosophy, i.e. cluelessness.”

“And we fixed that?”

“We did. Now we have to get the word out there. Does anyone have a megaphone on them?”

“I do!”

“Good. Then get to work! You are our bellowing loudmouth!”

“Haha…”

“Don’t laugh, people blindly follow them…”

“But we do not want blind followers, do we, Dad…”

“No, we want those who’s philosophy is to adopt our philosophy, which is far better than anything that they can come up with. It is like driving a car to the grocery store in an affluent society. You can either choose to drive a preexisting one that many have worked long hours designing and building, or you can build your own car to get there, which will take you several lifetimes, if not more.”

“Are you going to write a spontaneous poem just to see if you can do any better than what you’ve presented to us in all of those topics?”

“What would be the point? Doing ‘better’? What is that, anyway?”

“Well, that is kind of vague, isn’t it… but no, don’t feign subjectivity, Dad, when we objectively know what is ‘better’. How about just to see what topic comes of it?”

“I can predict the topic…”

“What would it be?”

“Togetherness, no matter how surreal the world gets. I have a list of those poems, called Surreal Togetherness. I am in that mood right now, so let the surreal togetherness poem begin…

.

IN OUR STRANGE SURREAL TOGETHERNESS

I pulled thunder-whiskers from the soil,

my boots, of dogwood mating calls;

the summer sun a mismatched sock

between two rusted highway signs

proclaiming distant ocean crabs

dancing to a robin’s tune…

Amid the toxic sludge I mused

when, upon a dragonfly,

you came with white half-eaten news

of clumps and tufts on missile fields,

the orange blueberries in disarray,

with rainbow flowers and wispy days

of musty odors from soggy wood

in cot-lined labor camps that strays

ambled blindly into…

“It is a clueless world,” I said,

explaining all in silence, then

we took a midnight city tree

to the Halls of the Mountain Kings, just me,

my bygone infantcies, and you,

like chirping birdies in a nest

to spend the rest of eternity in

our strange surreal togetherness…

But…

.

.

“But?”

“But.”

“Just, but?”

“Sure. I don’t think a poem ever ended with a ‘but’. Consider this the first! Besides, what it says is perfectly clear…”

“That things did not quite work out as planned?”

“Precisely. So why go through all of the unnecessary effort to explain it in detail?”

“To be poemy?”

“Maybe…”

“You seem to be longing for a decent companion, Dad…”

“It is our author. I’m doing fine!”

“So finish the poem! But… what?”

“Oh, OK… groan…”

But then a chair and chest passed by,

offering us some sage advice:

“You two should try the carnival,

it is that time of year…”

So, we jaunted, merrily,

with our Venice festive masks,

with our favorite honeycombs

so highly prized by brass-band ties

and skinless clocks with wandering thighs

searching for a point in life,

which we had, in three small urns

behind the cupcakes and the squirrel

pilfering petals of rained despair

from the Bengal tiger’s eye…

It is here that we both began to work on

Et’zu Ni’s biography, rather short, since Et’zu Ni

only lived for nineteen days

beside the solitary stream that

none but frozen Nimooks dream of,

hoping for a lonely scream from

ancient demiurges.

.

.

“That’s it?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Aren’t you going to wrap it up in some clever way?”

“Like with another ‘but’? Hahaha… yes, that will do it.”

.

.

But…

.

.

“From whence I could go on for a thousand and one nights, telling tales of genies and misfortunes ‘till the sun came up…”

“But we should end this story, and poem, here?”

“Yes. Good night, kids. We’ll let the campfire burn itself out.”

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Electronics technician. Writing Style: Unschooled. Philosophy: Humanity has a serious problem. Read the Philosophy of Broader Survival, which addresses it.

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Mr. Numi Who~

Mr. Numi Who~

Electronics technician. Writing Style: Unschooled. Philosophy: Humanity has a serious problem. Read the Philosophy of Broader Survival, which addresses it.