Image result for the writer abstract painting

Virtue grows to become vice, until it shrinks again, back to virtue.

Vice grows in stature, is virtue, and if it keeps growing, becomes vice again.

The dials of morals constantly adjust.

Vice and virtue are not absolutes.

This wildly fluctuating truth often escapes morally determined individuals—who contribute more to vice as virtuous individuals, than those, who bent on vice, accidentally discover they have done a good thing.

True condemnation must be reserved for those (usually leaders in a position to impact society) who grasp the dynamic described above, and, masking themselves in virtue, fan virtuous behavior into a conflagration of vice.

Love, for instance, is a virtue— until it becomes so predominant that it leads to hurtful promiscuity.

Selfishness is a vice, but growing into a healthy independence of spirit, turns to virtue.

Moral transformations are unpredictable, and even unruly—continually challenging our moral intelligence.

The usefulness of the Program Era—where mere students of literature were converted into students who write literature themselves—hasΒ devolved from virtue to vice.

We have gone from: “I would like to become a writer.”

To: (whiny voice) “Look what I wrote!”

Millions who fancy themselves poets (that is, every reader of poetry today) are now purveyors of harm—the virtue of curiosity for what it might be like to be a good writer, has expanded into the vice of certainty that one is a good writer.

The virtue of literature as a bridge to understanding, sympathy, and knowledge has been replaced by the vice of literature as personal soap box. The people have turned into an ignorant mob. Democracy guided by law has grown into a clamor of self-interest.

Not only do the poets ignore any writing which is better than their own—no, the situation is far, worse—they positively resent writing which is better than their own, since they fear it will usurp them and their mantra, “Look what I wrote!”

Talk about the bad chasing out the good.

Vice (for the moment) is rampaging like a flood, through all channels of poetry, to a profound degree, and the Creative Writing Industry is to blame.

In the rush to be someone, no one knows anything.Β  Like what a good poem is.

Quadrivium has been pushed out by trivium.

The swords and spears of rhetoric, grammar, and logic have crushed what used to be the feminine charms of poetry’s soul: geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy.

The virtue of literature—a beautiful device for subtle yet expansive communication within a nation of educated readers—has become the vice of literature—a megaphone for anyone with a loud voice, a sore bum and a big ego.

But this could change, and quickly.

Present vice need not be destroyed and conquered, only diminished—into a virtue.

The clamor will tire of itself, and reduce itself into a voice.


And you will hear.





  1. Joel Fry said,

    November 10, 2017 at 3:22 am

    This is excellent and oddly encouraging. All things are flowing. The clamor in each person has to die. The mind is a room lit by fire. Your house is not engulfed in flames.

  2. November 16, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Jesus Christ then:
    “Love thy neighbor.”
    “Forgive thine enemy.”
    “Do unto others as…”

    Christians today:
    I hate you!
    Go away!
    Go fucking die, will ya!

    • thomasbrady said,

      November 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      Did you see you made the latest Poetry Hot 100?

  3. Anonymous said,

    November 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Yes! I was very moved. But I didn’t want to brag and embarrass Mr. Dylan.

    Seriously, bless you Mr. Graves. Maybe you’re my Ezra Pound!

    ‘Course, you never bought any of my books, didja, ya cheap bastid?!?


    • November 16, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Well, I did it again. I switch devices so one is charging while I’m on the other and always forget to switch names.

      Hey…I’m old, okay!!!

  4. thomasbrady said,

    November 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Yea, we’re all anonymous finally.

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