OPINION: The Case of the Speluncean Explorers


Read: http://www.nullapoena.de/stud/explorers.html before addressing the following, which is an answer to the question the case raises.



“Before the dice were cast, however, Whetmore declared that he withdrew from the arrangement, as he had decided on reflection to wait…”


The issue as I view the facts relates to whether a man may wage his life in contract?

Thus, my opinion is that a man may not wager his life, nor should a society support the bartering of one’s life to save another. This is a decision remaining with the person and flexible with his whims.

Pro 1. As this case relates to assisted suicide, one of the arguments against it is that a person can no longer make a contribution to society.

Con 1. Similarly, the contribution to society would be that he allowed others to live in place of his life.

Pro 2. The individuals should have waited until one of the men died naturally before eating him.

Con 2. Similarly, had they waited, they might have all died, or at least the chance was great that more than one person would have died had they waited out the natural course of one.

Pro 3. Regardless of the arguments related to “Law of Nature” or jurisdiction as relates to time and place, men are inherently the same and enjoy the capacities of pain and joy. Therefore, sympathies, empathies, or the horrors of dying, whether to save others or not instill a seriousness. That seriousness would explain a general refrain from making another keep their side of a bargain.

Con 3. Similarly, the “seriousness” itself would weigh so heavily under the circumstances of a unified approach to death that those sympathies, empathies, or the horrors of dying itself, would avail the obligation of the losing party to uphold their bargain simply because the need to live would overpower the desire to take that person’s place if they changed their mind.

Lightness of Being

I want to thank the person responsible for the new washers.
It is not like the old ones were broken
Because I bet they were loaded with a favor to one side
And the redistribution as you know
In rugby is that once the man with the ball
Is captured, a heap is formed.

But, I don’t know,
I have never really had a relationship
With the washers.
I did, however, put the coins in first
And then let the water fill,
Followed with detergent,
Let it churn a bit before
I put the clothes.

My aunt taught me
“To dilute the detergent.”

Now, you start with the detergent,
Then the clothes,
Then the quarters,
Kind of like getting your money’s worth
At the beginning.

I like how it is a bowl
And the holes don’t start until a quarter
Up the inside so it seems like
The water fills and the clothes are
Kept in a container so that
They both soak and get churned.
It is a rich process.

In the beginning
There is silence, then
The lockdown.

I like all the colored buttons and lights.
I like the white porcelain.
It all seems so robotic
And I have grown to like that.

That and dishes,
They are like the last things
We have to do
Before everything becomes

I am not even worried about the rain
Or viruses, or wars
Because we live in a laundry room,
Where we have a sofa,
A bookshelf, and a
Garden outside.

Maybe we should install a shower
And a kitchen.

Like I said, however,
Once we figure out how to do the laundry
Without actually having to do it,
Which is actually like doing the dishes
In a dishwasher,
What’s left? – Mario Savioni


The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness


Inspired by the haiku by  in Poésie, (See: http://hortusclosus.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/righteous/comment-page-1/#comment-6508)

Is it righteousness or regret that we contemplate? Is there a bucket list or a mere acceptance that the quality of life is so diminished over time that we understand the demise of our physicality? I watch my mother capitulate to the last waves that wash over her breaking body, how we can predict the steps to her final resting place, someone who was once our equal and before that the first beauty to have shown her face, and by whom I measure all lovers.

Tonight, I held the head of a woman with my mother’s skull and I massaged her. I breathed her “essential oils” through her thinning hair and followed the lines of her delicate hands as I traveled them. She leaned against me and I felt my own heart and we looked at pictures of my mother when she was 18.

Sadly, I doubt this woman loves me, and so it is. Death is an acceptance of the truth; and like the arms flailing in the sand, it is a kind of suffocation that we felt when we were born: Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono.

And so perhaps you are correct: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Reclusivity of Silence


The reclusivity of silence alone in a room;
The woman on a white pedestal is naked and posing.
I don’t remember what I said to her,
But she is in agreement
That her body and affect are
The stuff of artistry.

A picture of a naked woman,
Not that we are there yet,
But this must be the arrangement,
Sets adrift so many passions.
Mystery is the biggest one,
Where I am lost in the design itself,
My attraction,
My mind-numbing infatuation with this character study.
Just as Picasso said:
He was only and always painting himself.
I am taking a picture of everything I’ve ever wanted
While actually wanting to know if the passion is shared
And what it might mean.
I sense she is only contemplating her appointment,
How the stool might not be that comfortable,
if the image would wind up on the Internet,
And some guy like me would find it.
She’s thinking about lunch,
Her studies,
Her boyfriend,
The cause of art,
The purpose of her life.
I don’t think that women ever
Think of themselves as objects of beauty,
As the purpose for living that men attribute to them.
But, they clearly stand for something,
Since I have no other thoughts.