Solipsist Interview-Zeb Blackwell

Q: Why do you not believe that other people’s minds exist?
A: It’s quite simple, really. I can be quite certain of my own existence – it’s the whole “I think, therefore I am” thing. But as for the existence of other minds, well, that’s a much trickier thing to prove. I can see that there are these funny-looking things that walk around and talk to me and generally do things that would indicate that they have minds like me, but I can’t really be sure. There’s nothing to distinguish my econ professor, for instance, from a robot that could pass the Turing test. Just because people act like they have minds doesn’t mean that they aren’t basically just machines responding to stimuli.

Q: But can’t you look in someone’s eyes when they’re hurting and see that they really feel that pain?
A: Furbies could make some pretty convincing displays of pain. People are just really complex Furbies.

Being half of more complete, single entities, humans suffer inherent and deep complications. On one hand, we strive for progress, perfection, knowledge, enlightenment, salvation, isolation and self-perpetuation, even immortality. We seek to be whole beings, safe from the vagaries of the constant search for another to complete ourselves. On the other hand, we seek to join with our opposite, procreate, exclude, claim, destroy and amass. At times, we may seek only one or the other of these states, but for the most part, we feel and act upon both at all times, dividing our energies between inherently inconsistent goals.

- You seem to love everything and everyone.

Actually… I can’t stand most things or people. I just choose to fill my life with what I love and only invest myself into things I love. I chose my job because I love what I do. I chose my closest friends because I love them as people. I choose to live here because I love this house. I love my girlfriend. I love my dog. I love the movies and the books on my shelves. I love how I spend my time. I even love the way I struggle because I love the reason I’m struggling. Isn’t that the point of having your own life and the ability to choose? So that you can fill it with what you love? I ignore and let go of the rest. The rest is meaningless. It took me a long time and a lot of loss to learn that. My advice is to learn that quicker than I did. 






When your world falls apart… Take the time to realize how small it was and how small it kept you… Then go live in a bigger one… And grow… 

This thing.

It was somewhere around 3:30 am and it was wet outside. We were parked on the side of the street in front of my house because it felt less bad that way. She was in the driver’s seat and my head was in her lap. She continuously ran her fingers through my hair and it made me smile.

"I thought you didn’t like fingernails." 

-I thought you didn’t like girls. 

She sighed.

"I don’t know what I like anymore."

-From what I saw tonight… boys with tattoos and long hair who sing in bands that yell a lot… 

She laughed. 

"I’m tired of it though. I love it and I’m tired of it at the same time. I don’t want to do it anymore. They are all the same."

-Then there is me. 

She put her finger on my forehead.

"… And then there is this thing." 

Denver Butson

A man standing at the bus stop
reading the newspaper is on fire
Flames are peeking out
from beneath his collar and cuffs
His shoes have begun to melt

The woman next to him 
wants to mention it to him
that he is burning
but she is drowning
Water is everywhere
in her mouth and ears
in her eyes
A stream of water runs
steadily from her blouse

Another woman stands at the bus stop
freezing to death
She tries to stand near the man
who is on fire
to try to melt the icicles
that have formed on her eyelashes
and on her nostrils
to stop her teeth long enough
from chattering to say something
to the woman who is drowning
but the woman who is freezing to death
has trouble moving
with blocks of ice on her feet

It takes the three some time
to board the bus
what with the flames
and water and ice
But when they finally climb the stairs 
and take their seats
the driver doesn’t even notice
that none of them has paid
because he is tortured
by visions and is wondering
if the man who got off at the last stop
was really being mauled to death
by wild dogs.


There was this girl. She was a once upon a time kind of girl. She was a once I had a dream kind of girl. She was a girl that created a moment kind of girl. She was a fairytale. She had light perfect skin and dark almond eyes. Her hair fell around her face like water flows through a current. She had this name that made voices louder when it was said out loud and letters bolder when it was written down. She was that girl. In every room she was that girl. The kind of girl who could say no and yes at the same time and still get what she wanted. She was the girl that you wanted to know… Needed to know… Had to know… Once she looked at me this girl… Once she looked at me and she smiled this smile that sent beams of light through my chest that were so bright they came out of my eyes and a little of my ears…. The beams were so bright that my heart beat at a rate that could’ve killed me but it would have been such a pleasant death at that time… She was also the kind of girl that you can’t keep. She’s only temporary… She has a face that only the rarest of flowers can wear the colors of… And when you pick flowers they die slow deaths in front of your eyes… She was the kind of girl that was so beautiful she caused a silence… She muted life… With just one look… She made the whole world… quiet.