on “Heidegger and Poetry,” for New
Jersey College English
Association Conference, Seton
Hall University, March 18,
different philosophers, one
pre-, one post-3rd Reich, Derrida says. Okay,
and sha na na,
are important too. Initially,
Nazis seem to
the left—being so
compete with Communists after all, and,
His bud of being slips through anyone’s lapel.
Let be BE the elephant in the room
easily lending itself to
the room thru
gently deconstructive feats
or BE the water in the air we breathe
like salt from water
the good clean
existence with all
on the side—
I mean on the left,
but, on the right, man
criticism sure fails us, so
we could do with a good poet like Hitler.
Hey, for 5 secs I’m curious
about supply side economics, which after all play
off a 60s “everything will
be ok w/o the govt” ‘tude.
Reagan never calls me, thank God.
Point being left and right work
on a continuum
and Heidegger is the bridge,
traditional right and
paths cross over them.
Heidegger “surfs electromagnetic waves,” Marshall
McLuhan’s Gutenberg Galaxy says, and
his late sixties Playboy
interview foresees one
genocide after another. He’s sorry,
he says, it’s not inevitable, he’s just calling
it as he sees it likely to happen and it did happen and is happening.
Goodbye enlightened constitutional
our electromagnetic body is goin’
all tribal on us. Sounds hokey but
a place to start. I want to thank this poem/talk for
making me think of McLuhan,
and is it farfetched to think
Heidegger knows Mac’s early media work when
in some of MH’s last important work, he writes that
technology needs to
touch a poetry embedded
that influence matters much, but
Martin at least stylistically I
think influences Marshall, and
is a course we
take & teach.
McLuhan opposes Heidegger to Cartisian rationalism.
Hedegger fits for McLuhan because Mac
feels the rational as ratios—pentagonal
interactive sense-goo, not hard logic or
truth as we know it, though
Neocon “we’re cooler than truth” or
Nazi “we are truth” frames also might—I
mean do—reference at least one Heidegger,
and what am I standing on?
I’m too New Left by
work for Humphrey and root
for Nixon and I’m kinda right—things get
bad & Carter’s
someone way outside and
that last weekend I work so
him over the top
by just a little
in NY state,
deciding the election, but then let the nation down,
and, in 1980, go 3rd party,
courting disaster, but disaster doesn’t work. It’s
it sucks. There’s something
Nazi/Heidegger in it
in that little is leftover except maybe
Dasein, being there. That sounds good to this
but inevitably we
don’t flourish; is
it any wonder, is
what we need FAME (from
Indo-European for SPEAK)? Better
as E.T. tells
Drew Barrymore. Be light. Be “all inside”
as J. C. Penny’s mall campaign asserts.
Be light inside. It’s all good in so many ways, so
fully Left—not priggish or Weatherman Left. I
mean cultural left, Sgt. Pepper left.
Uh, er, like, er, as right wing politicians
tweak the consensus, the Beatles
lead audiences culturally left,
how Bobby Kennedy explains why he’s
mobbed: “Oh, I’m the Beatles.”
He’s willing to take his audience somewhere new,
the Beatles weren’t always in black people’s radar so
say black pepper left or
which might include Bill
Clinton, in that Bill takes
a lot from Bob’s 68 speeches
cuz the two Kennedys don’t
so just ad hoc making things possible, providing
opportunity, the conditions of being,
figures in for
Bob and Bill
so there’s at least one Heidegger in them but
could Bob have solved anything that way?
Bobby argues that
without the war
they could try: where
I’m now: we need
not working against us thru
voter fraud, war, governmental negligence, aggressive
disregard, incestuous hiring, and criminal
payoffs….Now I’m crazed
if I New Left it,
fuzzy if I don’t.
FDR changed “progressive”
to “liberal” because
progressive’s Repub big cousin Ted’s faction
or maybe progressive just sounds too Red.
And then, McLuhan says, Franklin & Hitler need radio
to heat their respective nation-state’s oral
and get people into
the program and
talk radio still seems to set the agenda.
Heidegger may have wanted a show. He wanted to be
Nazi philosopher king or Nazi philosopher Larry King or
anyway SOMETHING. But no one ever answers
So Derrida has a point
that at that point the Nazis
hot for Martin H. and he writes more
of philosophy as over. The way’s not through Mein Kampf—
the camp, the clearing
is through poetry and art,
even marginally discredited
and there’s definitely a lefty
way to take all of H.
Let’s beeeeeee; Babe, Heidegger’s hip, though
temporarily in a weird cult called “the Nazis,” but
that; “We on the left don’t blacklist”
Zero Mostel as why
Jerome Robbins helps with Funny
Thing on the Way to, since,
we think is more important than what. Let
us be cool, coolly Jerome
Robbins West Side Story cool cool.
The left hinges on Heideggerian Dasein,
but Intelligent Dasein,
not smooth Cartesian operators.
move is to turn the primacy
Husserl gives the turn of
perception into the turn
of being—where you
flow more than take in—think
more than drink, make more than take,
everything thought from the ground up,
the less enframed and frozen and always already,
the better, so no wonder he takes a shine to Hitler—
Heidegger’s a weird mystic rad brother—or
and Hannah makes this point. Arendt
feels it unfortunate
where and when
Nazis dupe him.
She LOVES her mentor.
But Heidegger really is Nazi.
Even if his wife Elfride, who
conceives Marty’s oldest son with another man—
friend she loves—before Martin makes love with
more a good Nazi than her philosopher husband,
Heidegger rats out who knows how many
and/or political orientations. You
chalk up some stuff to
ordinary enthusiastic Nazi service,
but the personal
go on till war’s end AND after it
you want to wring his neck
for sucky apologies about that
whole Nazi thing.
Horrors? Nazis? Am I missing the
know all about genocide from friends closer to it
but it’s a matter of proportion,
priorities, what one cherishes—
some of my best Jewish friends are fantastic, but
what’s best big picture?
Let not a little holocaust impede our Nazi union.
Plus I as Heidegger take credit for where
Husserl leaves me, removing my Being and
Time dedication to
the Jewish Husserl from its wartime edition,
dissing the poor guy.
If language is the house of being, can it be used to build itself?
his foot down. “Poetry
is the letting go of language.” The greatest
worldly, even meta-worldly, import,
Point is in some fashion the language we let go of is
the bureaucratic nation-state
that loses credibility
in Germany post-WWII
and the US post-Vietnam.
Wired totalitarianism is one replacement,
but what’s the other?
It doesn’t have to be the anticipated
supplely strong and gentle intuitive light
fills reason and poetry suffuses politics,
Heidegger will say he’s sorry.
—Stephen Paul Miller