25 June 2009

Entanglement on the www, Knots & I Converse with a Friend

To record. To record a thing. A thing that loses weight when you look at it, when you try and ponder its measurement, it shrinks. Something as elusive as dust on a chapel bell, as scripted as a North wind off a lighthouse that only pours light, not mystery.

To record. I try to speak a language of knots and nothing ends up happening but confusion. Nothing happens but an ache. And this ache keeps me anchored to the cause, keeps me in touch with carpet bugs, on my knees, searching for the equation between two sentences that were spoken before I was born.

I breathe forward into inches. There’s a light in the doorway. To record this light, photons or the electricity between a bulb and its current.

Today, for instance, I had a conversation with a friend of mine. How my brain needs shine! And so we set aside the computer screen’s work for each other’s thoughts. How, I asked, do we represent each other? My friend types answers and his voice, the memory and representation of his voice, gathers into neuronal circuits and fires. I read his text as though in his voice. Can we break through the walls of representation and actually know anyone?

The knots have been on my thoughts lately. I tell him so. Look at these equations, I say. He says, look at these wallabies in Australia, he says—they get high on poppies and make crop circles.

Somehow, this ties into the philosophical conversation. And the knots sit in the back behind me at the desk, waiting for a leap into my thoughts.

But I tell the knots, look! There’s a theory inside us all and I’m trying to uncover the dots, to gather the thought-geraniums so as to understand the grasses between one another, our thoughts, our desires, and our other-worldly-being-ness.

The knots are dragging today. I woke up in a mood. Worries down my back again, and will I have enough money for the autumn season? Plastic as it sounds, the worry of living is constant. But from my desk at work, I see an ocean. And my friend types words to me. We communicate from one desk to another 10,000 miles apart. Isn’t this amazing? My mood lifts when I type. I type of wonders. And wait for the answer.

I’d rather be outside, I think. I’d rather enjoy the sunshine. I’d rather unravel mysteries by walking in Union Square, searching strangers for their knots. But in front of us, a whole wonder waiting to be discovered. And my wonder is my friend, who talks to me of mysteries while we are at work.

Wonder at conversation! And conversation on the internet! The net that casts over all our lives. A net what leaves us connected or so estranged from another that the wandering in the world wide web can leave us hunting touch.

The knots are restless today. The tower today stands 2792 knots tall. Bundles, even. And some sit in the back corner, reflected in the computer screen as I type my longings into streams 10,000 miles away. The best thing about online communication is instant replies.

Me: it hit me the other day
mathematics (which I always hated) is like creativity and philosophy, it's working with abstractions
to try and explain things

Friend: yeah, when you get high enough in anything, it becomes abstract

Me: and when I look at it that way, I no longer hate math
I like theoretical anything
but I like to pull it back down somehow
like with a magical string
like theories are kites
and I'm trying to pull them closer to my body

Friend: and you have to ground them to dissect them

Me: yes
so they are like butterflies then, and you have to net them to put them behind glass
and when you look close enough at a butterfly, their patterns are way beyond what you expected.
one color leads into another color, but in zigzag
and how to define that line, you can't
like chaos theory

Friend: you have to break it down into small pieces, and that won't give you the whole picture

Me: exactly

Friend: crazy
this is awesome

Me: like those high kangaroos or whatever they were
the lines they made

Friend: I know!

Me: crazy

Friend: no one could have predicted that
but the anchor for all this is logic
it's pretty clear crop circles aren't created by aliens
therefore, it must be something else
but more complex than that
it's MANY things
and that's where chaos comes in

Me: yes

Friend: some are pranks; some might be weird wind patterns
in this case, high wallabies

Me: the weed

Friend: lol
the opium

Friend: poppies

Me: oh
oh yeah
like in Wizard of Oz

Friend: hehe
man, the book of that is about a billion times better than the movie
I did not expect to have this conversation today
chaos theory!

Me: I know, right?
chaos theory is insanely interesting
it is overwhelming
I feel like I'm flying just reading about it
did you see the pictures of the knots?
love those

Friend: yes
I love the III kind
that's such a cool pattern

Me: you know, perhaps we make our very own patterns each day and we don't even know it
like actual patterns in some sort of air
when you type
or walk each day

Friend: hmmm

Me: and it affects the things around
like we're always painting something into being and we don't know it

Friend: well I know we affect air currents when we walk past them, or they have to blow
that's an idea I’ve long had
the things we do create... something

Me: expand on that
your idea
that you had
creating things
what did you think?

Friend: well
I went beyond just movement
the physical world and the mental world combined
let's say I say something mean to someone
and it puts them in a bad mood
and they take it out by slamming the front door
which knocks over their vase
which they throw away

Me: interconnectivity

Friend: you create these things
I call them demons for lack of a better term

Me: what physicists (the more metaphysical ones) are calling "The Field"
the idea of locality versus entanglement
Einstein didn't believe theory of entanglement was true
but we've proved it
we've been able to view the burning out of electrons, a proton and electron separated and the daughter protons are effected by the "mother," no matter at what distance
it's only after WE observe
that anything comes into being

Friend: before that it's Schrödinger’s electron

Me: Schrödinger’s Cat.
someone said to me the other day on gchat
"sorry I was invisible"
and I thought about that time you said it
and how I wrote that note about status updates and the new lingo and how we all sound like science fiction novels and we don't even know it
in our minds, we're invisible, sometimes
because we "are"
and we say we "are"
even if it's only on gchat
like your half man-half fish superhero
if we reflect "nothing"

Friend: no, the lack of reflection

Me: then where is that "nothing"
is the nothing something only when we "reflect" it?
like Schrödinger’s cat!

Friend: it is
for that moment, you did not know if I existed or not
applied to everyday life

Me: and your voice when you type as it's represented in my head when I read your font
I hear your font in your voice in my brain. how my brain recollects your voice

Friend: Electronic data and it's philosophical implications…
I hadn't given your opinion on AI the consideration it deserved, because instead of basing the amount of consideration on your perceived intelligence (or creativity, or capacity) like I should have done, I based it on your technical knowledge

Me: that's understandable

Friend: I guess when you spend 7 years telling people how to work a computer, you assume no one knows anything about them.
and that's just wrong
it's a scale
it causes problems
drives wedges into conversation
creates demons

Me: creates breakdowns. Our representations of people need to be broken down before we can really communicate
It’s interesting that we create someone before we know them

Friend: yes
it's a tricky thing
knowing someone
you walk a balance of open-mindedness and ... something else.

End conversation. To record. End. And the knots are sparkling. Inside their bodies: the known. The unknown casts things down occasionally, but in dots. Later in the day, the conversation from the afternoon on the computer, the conversation that happened over text, will be imprinted in my mind and replayed via representation when I read Heschel’s words….

“When the ultimate awareness comes, it is like a flash, arriving all at once. To meditative minds the ineffable is cryptic, inarticulate: dots, marks of secret meaning, scattered hints, to be gathered, deciphered and formed into evidence.”

And, earlier that day, on the computer screen, my friend said:

“you have to break it down into small pieces, and that won't give you the whole picture.”

Which I remember, as I read further into Heschel’s words:

"It comes when, drifting in the wilderness, having gone astray, we suddenly behold the immutable polar star. Out of endless anxiety, out of denial and despair, the soul bursts out in speechless crying.”

To record. I read these lines, interconnected with earlier recollections of a conversation on computer screens, and while I read, in my bed, the knots nestled by the lamp, wriggling into a sway, I listen to my iPod. The iPod lands on Laura Marling. The song bleeds into the web. And exactly as I read about speechless crying into the heart of the wilderness to find that God between the breastplate and dreaming, the song sings the words:

“You sat alone under billowing sky. If I feel God….but I fell into the water and now I’m free.”

Pressed into the sides are the knots, now weighing 4920 worth, sat on my chest, which breaks, as I cry. Something about this. About alignment and chaos. To record this. And the known in the belly of knots have a brief communication with the unknown. Three words, and a black out. Joy! Joy! Joy!

24 June 2009

R-matrix theory, n=8, or: what keeps me from sleep

How do I expect to settle into stillness when the vibrations tumble out of my drier each morning? When I stumble over the peaks of things like jetting rocks down the stairs?

When I wake, there’s a melody waiting for me in a hidden place. I haven’t called on her yet. The known is speaking to the unknown in another language in my dreams. Until I smooth the length of worries down my back, I’ll keep buzzing around, disturbing any chance that stillness will nest next to me.

The known are in knots and my body contains many of them. Like a tower, I stand 29740 knots tall, give or take a few. Sometimes, when I hike a hill, one will topple into the soil. And if I crawled against a carpet, a couple might try taking root there, bedding up with the carpet bugs.

The known hangs on inside the belly of the knots, which sometimes circle my head. When one knot passes or beds up in the carpet or hops down the street while I walk in a crowd, another one will wait by the lamp to talk to me. The unknown are like stars and stare down into the belly of the knots, trying to converse with them.

The language is strange. Catch one or two words, sometimes, yes. But this is rare.

Stay in a corner. Listen for a movement inside like a melody.

The drier tumbles the known into the unknown. A melody stills into twists, vibrates then quiets, waits for 29740 knots, give or take, to listen from within me.

23 June 2009

This Blog has Moved

This blog has a new home at Wordpress.

Please follow me here: CLICK

22 June 2009

2:00 am on 6/23

I wanted to read something to comfort me before sleep. Something about circling around again and finding the self in a tree branch.

How even in a dark room there's a memory of reaching for a hand.

Searching, it was late. My eyes hurt from reading.

The knots said, come nearer.

I always knew they were vibrating orbs in numerical bodies, but I refused to look so many nights. Come closer, they said.

Look, and I create their lives. Look away, and they pass, almost as though lightning bugs were their other shells.

Entanglement, I thought, weighs more than a spirit, much more. And so I turned out the light.
..no such thing as baby pigeons in the city; perhaps they hide in crevices of buildings as chicklings, waiting to birth wings, sing into smog...

20 June 2009

2:52 am on 6/21

The stone is given its existence; it need not fight for being what it is--a stone in the field. Man has to be himself in spite of unfavorable circumstances; that means he has to make his own existence at every single moment. He is given the abstract possibility of existing, but not the reality. This he has to conquer hour after hour. Man must earn his life, not only economically but metaphysically. -- Ortega.

I was reading this on the train. Or maybe it was the subway.

Maybe I had already gotten down to 14th street. Maybe I was listening to Brahms, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I felt like I was turning a corner on my eyelid and pulling it out, methodically, like when I was a child. So much to hold onto, in one eyelash.

When I feel like coming to the center of something, almost like jumping in front of god-knows-what, or falling from the last thing hunger made you do.

I could have been reading something else, but I wasn't. It could have been

raining, raining, raining, raining, raining, raining, raining, raining

in the desert. And I could have had to pitch an A-frame tent. And I could have spent the last 25 hours lying beside a water-trail, waiting for animals to pass before seeing my chest rise up and down. I could have been leaving bruises on my shins.

Burning a cigarette into the arm to see what it felt like.

I could have been learning to make a fire from wood and stone.

But at this time in my life, I was just reading on the train, listening to Brahms.

I don't have to know why I run from learning stillness. Stillness is learning me.

And circling inside this, what I said I loved before, and forgot.

16 June 2009

1:00 AM on 6/17

Once, I wrote some diary entries in the voice of a divorced man who liked to drink bourbon, so I'd drink bourbon at night at my apartment on my porch, and then write his diary.

I still think about him.

More of this later. Perhaps I'll even tear out an old entry or two, post it on a wall somewhere or at the Public Announcements board at the courthouse, if I can find a courthouse around here.

from: M-theory and Other Such Tales

10. Knots:

tie one sailor to another--
see this field? all points merge
without ever touching, he said.
I think: so if my heart
is comprised of five orgasms
that never happened, the thought
of it happening, once, could
create quakes separate
from itself? a whole
universe of pigeons in flight,
carrying messages between
the trenches, in this field,
however small, there is no count
for size-- what is there but
one moment, then the next,
and besides, perhaps we
already loved one another
long before continental drifts,
time's hallows sunk your eyes, or
we sat down to breakfast.

7:20 on 6/16

Hydrographically, tops
of things have something
hidden--I intend to find
what they wish to say to You.

15 June 2009

whistle by its tail

I have, for the first time, attempted to sing on a track of poetry.

Once, a long time ago, I used to sit on the corner part of the roof, above my little brother's room in the house I grew up in, writing to imaginary beings, and watch the sun go down over West Texas. When the pink was kissing orange, when I was barely able to write in the blue-haze of dusk, I'd put down my pen and hum. As a kid, nothing was not sacred. As a kid, the ineffable was where I put my hand against my thigh or forehead, in the beat of my heart, which I assumed was really remnants of my wings I had before I descended. And there, across the dust-sky, in the heat of August or cool crisp of autumn, whispered my other-soul, freely flying about above me. Wait! I'd say. Remember me? And on I'd talk until the dusk grew heavier and darker on my back, wait for childhood crickets to crackle a reply, an invitation to leave the roof and lie somewhere below on the grass among the trees my father planted. In West Texas, stars are giving and abundant, much like my heart, willing to believe in that-thing-beyond. As a kid, my humming glittered just the same. And perhaps it will, again. As where we begin is where we arrive, someday.

And so, like my inner kid, I let myself sing some words to something. Maybe a hum because I miss home. Or home misses me. Either way, even if it has nothing to do with what I just said, I have a new wordling out there. Check it out, here: Shannon Hardwick Poetry.

P.S. this gorgeous photo which I chose to go along with the poem is by my lovely, talented friend, Becky McMath. It's titled: Bird, Sleepy.

4:40 on 6/15

Because the window cannot contain thunder,
the body of sound passes through it.

Because I cannot spend 30 days in the wilderness
in silence, I listen.

This was handed to me, in a note, in the sound
of your voice, once, asleep,

having had nothing to eat all day but doubts;
so slim, ribs broke, gutters

opened, in the sound of your voice, in a note
handed through a window

doubts, so slim, asleep--
body of silence, gut open.

10 June 2009


its 4:44; a light
rumbles, calls in strange
tongues outside
the door; a well
somewhere echoes--
your destiny is in love
with you.

09 June 2009

Neuroplasticity, or the Importance of Having Creative People Chat with You Online

So I’m reading this book about neuroplasticity, because, for some odd reason, I’ve become obsessed with the brain since last year. I scan bookshelves for anything about nuerology, preferably ones that bring in the psychologists and philosophers. Maybe one day, they will have a poet in there somewhere. It is quite possible. For example, I find a lot of neurology books have epilogues before each chapter, and more often than not, a poet is quoted. Yes, that’s right, a poet. Nine times out of ten, if the writer of the neurology book is British, the poetry epilogues will be even more frequent. Just tonight, I was reading a chapter on Network Remodeling and Milton’s Paradise Lost was quoted: “The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a heaven of hell”

Neuroscience and Milton! Well, my bath couldn’t have gotten any better, no, no. It was bliss right then and there.

Mixing things up, together, swirling them around. Doesn’t the day seem odd when it’s the routine of this and that, of work and TV, of Facebook and stalking things to their tiny little core bodies? Doesn’t it get old, treading the old path, day in, day out?

I stay secluded a lot. Mostly, I try to get on a fixed schedule and keep such and such in order. However, as I find in my layman’s study of neuroscience, the brain just isn’t functioning properly if we tread the same path each day. Someone said that if the world was a room, most people stay in a tiny corner their whole lives, and if the brain was a forest, we’d be a dog, walking in the same circle, pushing the same ol’ rock. Or, at least, I feel I would be like that dog, getting very little real estate in the vast amount of space the brain inhabits.

The brain gets in ruts just by our mental lives as well. Not just our routines dull our day, but our mental life as well, unless we look for pathways outside the circle, something to do other than pushing that rock. The actual foundation and mapping of our brain shifts, when we decide to stand on one leg, instead of two…

In The Mind & Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, Jeffery M. Schwartz writes:

“The brains response to messages from its environment is shaped by its experiences—experiences not only during gestation and infancy, as most neuroscientists were prepared to accept, but by our experiences throughout life. The life we live, in other words, shapes the brain we develop.”

I was sitting at my desk this morning, woken up by thunder and lightning. CRACK! My power strips flickered. The lightbulb gave a sigh. I sat there, dazed. If the lightning had not cracked, would I have felt my body this way, in this moment? I don’t know why I had this thought, but it was this thought that brought to mind a friend of mine and how he represents that “kick” out of the everyday that I experience while at work.

I sit at my desk, a lot. If I’m not working, I’m trying to write, or I’m just passively cruising the internet, wondering why I’m even online at all…wasting my day. Online. Which line? Not sure. So, I’m at my desk a lot. Usually, I’m working and though I love my new job, of course I’d rather be eating strawberries or something watching Wimbledon or reading George Herbert. (What, is it weird that someone ENJOYS reading George Herbert?) Anyway, so he pops up daily on gchat. And the thing is, I never know what we’ll talk about. Today, he told me about a Russian Villian Mythological character. A whole interwoven idea of a short story based on a painting, and why, exactly, folklore employs witches as wise sages. If it’s not this, then it’s how he’s actively contemplating the logistics of how to craft a laptop casing out of wood. Not only this, but the basic outline of the engeneering of why laptop casings are plastic, how the flow of heat works and dissipates, etc. Sorry, he says, am I boring you? NO! Not at all. Here I was, feeling sorry for myself that I’m stuck in my office, and now I’m learning about Russian Folklore and artistic computer casing matters.

See where the brain takes you when you let other people in?

And this is a running theme with this friend of mine. I’ll be feeling sad, and he sends me a picture of some strange looking animal he just happens to be researching on the side, or a funny comic, or how and why computers could never form “creative thoughts” and thus become AI. I disagreed. I thought, since God created man in his own image, perhaps now humans are becoming God and creating computers in their own image, which will thus turn around and destroy us, (assuming we create AI robots who then turn on us). And the cycle will begin again once God steps in and repairs the damage man and machine have done…Big Bang…perhaps that was simply the last human race blowing themselves up.

But what I mean is, this train of thought would never have been ingaged without his help. And links. And amazingly witty status updates.

There’s the thing. The “thing.” The New Thing about Today. The lingo. Status updates. Who would have thought we’d talk about such things as “status updates?” Sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, doesn’t it?

Just today, my friend said “Sorry, I was temporarily invisible.” And I had to laugh.

But here’s the thing. Neurologically, friends like this are beneficial.

My paths from day to day, are pretty much the same, once I get on a routine. I don’t often think about things “outside my realm” unless they are on my own terms. And, as I have been reading, this is bad for my neuronal circuts. They get bored thinking about the same things. Taking the same steps. Listening to the same thoughts inside the same head.

And so, everyone should have a brilliant, creative friend on gchat who will go into very fine detail on all sorts of topics.

Because, when you allow yourself to converse with others, I’m sure the brain is appreaciative.

I mean, who would have thought I’d hear a hypothetical way to build a wooden case?

The rain was pouring. I was drinking coffee, wondering if I’d write anything later on, after work. And my friends voice jumps in, describes his newest project:

i would have to built the trunk from scratch
and i am just a little too lazy to do that when i can buy one prebuilt for a reasonable cost
so all i need to do is move heat out of the case faster than it accumulates (or at the same rate)
9:36 AM for this i need two things
1. ventillation
2. a heat conducting material
the ventillation will obviously be fans
and for heat conduction i will use small copper pipe, which is cheap and plentiful at the hardware store
9:37 AM since hot air rises, i will put the larger exhaust fan at the top and run the pipes near it, and it will pull the heat off them at that end
9:38 AM that causes a temperature difference in the copper, which means they will try to equalize, which means heat will travel toward the exhaust fan, which in turn means the copper will absorb heat from the surrounding air
9:41 AM etc, etc, &co, ad nauseum

Indeed. Whole lives open up, whole new worlds, when we look beyond our own brain, and invite other’s to join in conversation.

07 June 2009


Can't sleep. Chirp. What is there but always a knock. On the inside of the chest like something has a hankering for a talk. All the time, a talk. About the skylights, about how it feels to sit for hours in silence. Chirp. Not a hello, not a good day, but a tap, a chirp. And it's one more second until the next, until you can scrape the knees on a rock-face somewhere, kneeling for the sake of kneeling. For the sake of seeing yourself differently. For calling on that chirp. What is there but this knock.

Yesterday should have called. There were two days before this one. And the same chirp in my chest as in yours. Ignore the social constructs. I should. Perhaps I should take hold of Your t-shirt sleeves, press my ear to your chest and listen.

Kind of like sleep. Coming back. Coming to the place of noticing the chip, hankering for a talk and a bit of peanut butter. Mind, mind at all if I call this second? Knock, you said, I'm already on the other side.

05 June 2009

Newness via Radio Waves

So, I have three new tracks up. YAY. The New York rain will not get me down. I'll stay huddled in my attic room with an ocean view and mess around with recording strange things that find me starting at them from the edge of my bed. Strange things with shakey bodies and nervous conditions. AKA, my words.

Let me know what you think.

I also wanted to add that most of the photos on the songs are taken by my younger sister, who's a great photographer!

check them out here: Shannon Hardwick Poetry

June Bug Song 1 and 2 are the same but the pt. 2 has layers. Like numerous voices in the head. Or a Saturday night, in my case.

04 June 2009

Thought Diary, cont.

31 May 2009:

3:19 PM:

It is up to us to actualize the divine potential in the world.

3:20 PM:

Morning passages begins.

3:25 PM:

Waiting for train,

3:27 PM:

Too much movement to jump,
to stop, step out of the swirl.
In one breath,
thousands of unrealized poems.

3:33 PM:

Kabbalah confirms this thought,
since I was a child.

3:37 PM:

On train; “Something She Has to Do.”

3:38 PM:

One fly in the bathroom lantern,
golden belly-globe, body
against the side of my ear drum, stuck.

3:45 PM:

In a trance by passing trees.
How glitter is made
between branches, drunk
swimming my eyelid.

3:47 PM:

Now, graveyard passes
train tracks. Bones
clink, steel boards.

June 1, 2009:

2:56 PM:

Union Square subway station:
woman with a pamphlet under her arm:
What Happens After Death, a scientific perspective.

2:57 PM:

Women handing out pamphlets:
We believe prayer changes things.

7:00 PM:

“...and verily, it is not truth that rules the world, but illusions." --Kierkegaard

June 2, 2009:

11:25 AM:

train running 75 minutes late;
someone had the waves take them
over, jumped--between
the grind and the breeze.

12:52 PM:

Oblivion--"Happy is one
whose eyes shine
from this secret in the world
and the world that is coming." Emerson

1:02 PM:

The node of being as it begins to emerge
from nothingness into existence is called faith.

4:04 PM:

Confessions, cellos,
jumping into the above
begins in terror, at the tip, terror.
Pencil skirts make it harder
to concentrate on the task of dissolving completely
apart from materials
such as dodge trucks and fundraising events,
begins with the thought:
each realm loses credibility.

4:10 PM:

D Minor Trio warm up.
Life whirls into a strangeness
unrecognizable but so much at home;
the lifting is home,
the swirling is the doorstep,
that essential beginning,
traces of original threatened joy,
disalarmed by what will come,
continue coming.

01 June 2009

7:39 PM on the Metro North--"All existence is the body of God" --Abraham Isaac Kook. Still, at 1:47 AM I have forgotten this 1923291 times out of 293402132458 thoughts since then.