Choice Words

We must appreciate the power of redescribing, the power of language to make new and different things possible and important — an appreciation which becomes possible only when one’s aim becomes an expanding repertoire of alternative descriptions rather than The One Right Description.

Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

You ask the color of my day.
I ask where will we go.
You say when we are old.
I say you show me this.
You ask what is exciting.
I ask which words
you want to hear instead.

The shadow question could steal
in. Does sometimes
voice
into form, flesh
into golem. Why are you so
Wrong with
Don’t you see
See why you don’t?

Yes is a synaptic response
to stiumli and also
a stimulus itself, an anatomy
not unlike that of
Can’t
and Will.

It is a fallacy
of misplaced concreteness
to claim we are
this way
or even that we are.

You and I are not us.
We make us.

I say this
(touch you here)
is why I do.

You ask what we choose.
I ask what will it take.
 

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4 thoughts on “Choice Words”

  1. Such a fascinating sinuous discussion about I-don’t-know-what that leaves my forehead wrinkled in determined concentration to understand more concretely.

    1. Oh, the allure of the concrete. Kenneth Gergen has been on the bedside table, reminding me that language makes what’s real rather than merely describing it: “We have words such as ‘thinking,’ ‘feeling,’ ‘wanting,’ ‘intending,’ and so on; these seem concrete enough. But we mistakenly attribute the concreteness to an imaginary object — ‘the thought in the head,’ ‘the feeling in my heart,’ and so on.” He says Nietzsche terms this an “illusion of which one has forgotten that it is an illusion.”

  2. “Why are you so
    Wrong with”

    I do struggle with this.

    Thank you for verbalizing it.
    (Yes Yes! I know. There is more here, but this hit me.)

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