An Excerpt from Bastard Virtues

Daulton Dickey.

Click here to pre-order the paperback edition of Bastard Virtues
Click here to pre-order the Kindle edition of Bastard Virtues

Imagine sleeping.

Or trying to sleep.

Or lying in that state between sleeping and awake, a sort of light REM sleep.

Then imagine your phone rings.

Or someone pounds on the door.

You lie in bed for a moment, wondering who the hell’s bothering you.

Or maybe you know who it is.

Maybe you don’t want to answer the phone—or the door—and so you lie in bed.

Then, perhaps out of curiosity, you leap out of bed and grab the phone, or open the door.

Now imagine your cousin Rodney.

He wants your help.

Go into town with him and bail out his son, your second cousin.

Was it even possible to bail someone out at three in the morning?

Imagine thinking it over.

Or acquiescing and throwing on your clothes and shoes, grabbing your keys and wallet. Half asleep, maybe, you say you’ll go, but you don’t feel like driving.

You’re in the passenger seat now.

Racing down a county road.

No streetlights.

It’s dark.

You’re still trying to wake up, maybe. Rodney talks, spews the type of bullshit he’s known for spewing.

Maybe you listen, maybe you don’t.

Maybe you regret agreeing to this, maybe you’re happy to help.

But why’d you agree to do it?

At three o’clock in the fucking morning.

Rodney’s racing to town.

To bail out his son, his worthless son.

You’re going faster, faster. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Emergence: An Excerpt from In Defense of the Mind


There is an idea in the philosophy of emergence that states that systems become more and more complex, and more and more properties “emerge” as a consequence. The driving force behind this growth and growing complexity is essentially, creativity.

I think there is a strong link between this conception and that of the mind.

I argue that our minds, which are subjectively creative, are contributing to an overall system (or systems) that is becoming more and more complex as subjective realities interact more and more with reality in general.

In other words: The more that people think and feel and be, and the more their minds connect with the world, the more complex that the overall system of existence increases in complexity, due to the creative potential of the mind.

Again, I want to come back to my idea of potentialities, and infinite potentialities. Our subjective minds are capable of coming up with many novel ideas and possibilities, and this process seems to be becoming more and more complex, as more books of literature and philosophy hit the market, as culture as an organism continues to evolve and continues to grow. Knowledge itself and the discovery of new knowledge also leads to this complexity. We can’t take for granted that even if there is only one objective reality, there are many subjective realities, and those subjective realities are contributing to the creatively growing organism that is humanity. Creative properties are “emerging” in this complex system of humanity, and it’s a remarkable process.

So, as an example: We started off in Western culture with myth, the myths of the Greek Gods. That slowly became more complex as the Pre-Socratics started philosophizing, and then knowledge continued to expand with the knowledge of Plato, and then Aristotle, and then all of the philosophers from the Roman period, and so on, down to the Medieval scholastics, and it goes on and on. There is a classic argument that a person must become a specialist in a field of literature, because there is simply too much literature now. This is a sign of an increasing complexity. Continue reading

Wittgenstein, Art, and Random Prose: Excerpts from Notes and Journals

Daulton Dickey.

Oceans above and eyeballs below: the slant of the horizon twists and sways. Nothing forgotten, nothing forgiven. The detriment of the darkness settles on the hands of gloom. Night cracks. Fright moans. Terror settles into the white gold, a diamond crusted experience.

Daulton sits on a windowsill staring at the sky, all loose and soiled, cracked and broken. Fear and anxiety courses through him. Trees in the distance rattle and crack, and the oceans churn and spit out waves that break and collapse onto the starry evening.


The diamond maze
The din of haze
Mocks the crooks
In superior air

Shadows splay
Darkness stays
In meadowless brooks
Behind the trees


The superior air of the sanctuary in the sky cracks bolts and stows jolts and splays shadows across the faces of buildings and the hazy maze of cemetery trees. Through spirals of fire fucking wood in a funeral pyre, the rate permeates in nostril cells. Bile glows and bows inward, upsets the system and rusts the machinery. All parts are glowing and fatigued, and the darkness lingers and sways—air batted between trees.

The world in an eggshell hooks the yolk and cooks the fat, and daylight cracks and drips, staining the planet with opaque sulfur. Charcoal roasts the dawn, spawns the fawns, the dour-like opinions of inward looking faces.

Lightning blasts the kerosene and gasoline burns and bubbles and burps a cacophony of slivers and terrors and sounds melting the earlobes and scarring the prefrontal cortex. That atoms grow and merge and explode, that neurons tremble and shiver, that all life is a dream funneled into the gaps of nothingness frames hallucinations nestled into a head of sweat forming in the brows of agnostic spinsters.

Blow the horn. Slow the storm. Strong arm the national fervor. Sell the whores. Replace the stores. Burn the engine in despair. Sell the machine to repair the rotten eggs and the faceless cunts and cocks breeding ignorance and death. Fuck the lame and suck the stable. Cannibalize Cain and dismember Able. Chew the gristle of fantasies until you’ve secreted their proteins. Then discard them. You don’t need them anymore. Continue reading