Cyril Arnaud

Pirate Fragments

Poetic philosophy


From a labyrinth we at all costs seek to escape
Hence: existence is the opposite of a labyrinth
Now then, what is the opposite of a labyrinth?

When the first philosopher
Met the last wise man
What could they have told each other?
For then each spoke in a different key
One in major, the other in minor

Though the arrow never could
Cross space all the way to reach the target
Zeno figured out the way
To get across time

It is war
Not philosophy
That taught the young hoplite, Socrates:
“All I know is that I know nothing”

When the philosopher leaves the cave,
So disappointed is he, he crawls back inside it

Socrates wrote nothing
In reality he tried the exercise
But this time he was the object of irony:
Drawing laughter from one of his disciples,
Young Plato

Only two thinkers actually confronted matter:
Diogenes, every night, against his barrel’s hard wood.
And Empedocles, who left us behind only one sandal

Aristotle’s intelligence was such
That it led to supreme stupidity
Aristoteles dixit

Of great metaphysicians
They made nice marble statues

Students of the Academy
Sometimes played hooky from school
To go and whisper sweet nothings
In the Garden of Epicure

In serenity
Emotion does not disappear
But finds peace:
Death is mourned as beautiful music,
No longer as a nightmare

The Stoic is not a rock but a tree, swaying in the wind

When serenity becomes
A soul’s fundamental tone
Now it is in it
That dawn arises

All think
So all wander

That’s why
Some need a method
Like old men need a crutch
Or children a pat on the back

He deduced God from perfection concept
Could he deduce him from love concept?

In the best of all possible worlds
Cannot exist a book advocating for God

Metaphysics and nihilism
Flow down the stream from the same source:
Why is there something rather than nothing?

Never went on a trip
Because he knew that space
Is nothing but an a priori form
Of sensibility

Ethics remains a kind of calculation

When he intuited the great Whole, a deathly chill ran up and down his spine
He understood he would have to become an encyclopedist
But who will ever read an encyclopedia, soon forgotten deep down a library?
What he glimpsed was boredom, overcoming him
He therefore made his first work an odyssey
Before bowing to his fate

He suddenly had the intuition
Of the Eternal Return of the same
Then nothing was since ever the same again

To definitively refute becoming
And establish the permanence of being,
Man concocted plastic

One day he hatched the idea of a great collaborative book
That everyone could open and write on
And change to suit his own subjective tastes
Thus did the Third World War commence

Tenderness can also take the form of a library

Just a few light mists
Drifting down the surface of a soul
Is enough to hide the whole landscape of it

No ripples on this mountain lake
And yet, every moment,
A thousand possibilities

Just a kink in the language
And then a thought arises

Of a being, the value
Resists death itself
When all else bows down to it

The wandering being
Can’t run away, or get lost, or hide
For all this demands that at least
A direction prevails

As a child he rolled in the mud
Now in the mire
And soon will turn to dust

A curious way to search one’s way,
An original wandering:
That is all the philosopher can offer us

The nomad thinks he softens wandering
By going its way

A book: that quaint thing
That refutes the principle of energy conservation

For wisdom, erudition yearns
And runs through the history of philosophy
On such a promise
But the paintings collector is not a painter

If the same causes produce the same effects,
The slightest joke could be fatal

That lone man playing dice on his own:
A determinist in a slumming mood

Buridan’s ass must be dead
Of hunger and thirst
At the very same time

All flee from the talker
But from the grave his words still ring out
In a posthumous speech
Expanded with an afterword

The coward sometimes catches himself dreaming
Of an a priori life

The lazy man
He alone can derail
The chain of cause and effect

Anger tends to neologism
Anguish, to syllogism
And pride to soliloquy

If the first cause is the engine of
The prime mover
The last effect will be
A technical problem

The philosopher is an accomplished gymnast
His discipline: the side-step

An unmoved mover
This is also how Sisyphus
Would define a god

The mortal fears the simple passage
From potentiality to actuality

It is by courage
Not spirit
That disciple frees himself from master

Child plays in ruins
That the melancholic contemplates

The whole book of your existence is anonymous

At a meeting,
You probe the chasm that separates you
Then take a step forward

A meteor crosses my sky

“To desire is to persevere in one’s being”
Says the column of a ruined temple
That even gods have deserted

To the beloved, he inquires
About love itself
And she answers
With examples

Frees the effect from the cause
And lets things
Fly here and there
In a haphazard way

I'd rather bloom than come to fruition

In the night of myth,
The poetic animal
Stalks here and there
In search of an ideal language

Under an olive tree
In the company of chirpy old folks
That’s where you’ll find
The philosopher’s stone

Old Ocean
Gives a lesson in scepticism
Reminding the tossing ship
That every argument is opposed by an equal one

Perhaps you are already only a souvenir
In Homer’s prodigious memory
Which he summons at leisure
For some sort of denouement

The pages of an open book
Twirl in the wind
The breeze spoils the end of the story
To the attentive cosmos
And a bewildered cricket

In the old days men scanned the firmament
Consulted the farthest to find their near path
Thinking that space itself gave solutions to wandering
And the cosmos answered
With a few odd shapes

You will not rise from your ashes
But can make a fine bonfire

By the same author