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a series of fragments & notes about Chance, Fate, and Context by Dara Wier

The Appearance of Haphazard.

back to quoting, these lifted from Marshall McLuhan’s 1967 book:

(how I happened to be reading this book this morning…..I was reaching out to touch a Marcel Duchamp collection and noticed McLuhan’s next to it so pulled it out cause I probably hadn’t thought of it in many eras…….and I noticed after reading maybe 20 or 30 pages, how little it refers to specifics of its contemporary public culture, so it doesn’t feel as dated as I expected it to feel, it refers to a few, but more often quotes:  A.N. Whitehead, or Plato, or James Joyce, or Lewis Carroll or Michael Faraday (an old love of mine from childhood)::::::::::::

……….. countersituations made by artists provide means of direct attention and enable us to see and understand more clearly

(“made by artists”)

……………the technique of the suspended judgment is the discovery of the

twentieth century as the technique of invention was the discovery of the nineteenth)

(“suspended” everything, everything in suspension, a state of suspense)


McLuhan is talking about how things we make let us understand better about things we haven’t made and can’t make.

You might want to know why we want to know about these things.  But we do.

Or we do sometimes.

What I’m interested in are the ways humans speculate and reason and imagine.



Ronald Johnson’s


I offer this sphere I found,

like water held

in a rind of light.

It will surface

in the many-sided air

around you.

It is around you.  It is a sun.

It is a center.



Dara Wier is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Selected Poems, Remnants of HannahReverse Rapture, and Hat on a Pond. She teaches in the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets and Writers. Her awards include the Poetry Center and Archives Book of the Year Award, a Pushcart Prize, theAmerican Poetry Review’s Jerome Shestack Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She edits Factory Hollow Press. Visit her author page at Wave Books or read an interview.