Sitting in Class with a Professor
Who Had Us Read Martin Heidegger

With apologies to Robert Hass and Jack Spicer.

Inspired by Jay Dolmage
and Kevin McGuirk

I think back to yesterday when, according to
teaching methodology, we broke into groups
and talked. The professor listened patiently,
occasionally taking the opportunity
to mention a Russian philosopher whose name
rhymes with a type of container. He stresses
the last syllable. The girl next to me writes
a word on the palm of her hand. What is a thing?
This atom model is disastrous, because
it predicts that all atoms are unstable.

I want to establish a world outside of the
subject-object paradigm, but how can I
find it in things? The container-man is mentioned
again in unison. The girl next to me types up
her notes in a dutiful staccato. Art is
a privileged site for the happening of truth.
Paper is a substance made from wood pulp, rags,
straw, or other fibrous material, usually
in thin sheets, used to bear writing
or printing, or for wrapping things.