Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chung Tzu IN and OUT

"I wasn't accepted. I didn't get in." I say to Chung Tzu, after reading the letter. "I mean, I wasn't sure I'd get in, but I thought I'd get in."

"Oh, my brother!" laughs Chung Tzu, and he spins around. "Wonderful! You're so IN they couldn't let you IN!!!"

"Now what do I do?"

"Oh boy! Wheeeeee!" says a dancing Chung Tzu. "You know what to do! Keep getting OUT THERE!!!"

Potshot sez:

How excellent!
Bang, bang, bang!
All up in the air!
A real mess like it
always was!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Poem - my father lives in memories

my father lives in memories
quiet muffled place
lined and ordered with
phantom do's and don'ts

i was overly bright
even insulting
a constant challenge
pushing forwards
pushing back pushing
in all directions
i know how it is clearly now
because i have a son
but with my father and i

there came a point
where we settled up
concluded business
didn't bother to even
say goodbye
and still kept on

he and i may have been
looking for someone else
all along but couldn't
see this

but who were we looking
for? who had to be different?

Poem - The idiocy of Zeitgeist

The idiocy of Zeitgeist
Keeping us down
But it makes things work

Just before April
Oak Park, IL

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Poem - I Hear the Word

sons and daughters
daughters and sons

make no mistake in this
be gentle oh be gentle

it takes effort to be this way
possibly it will be excruciating

but this will take you far
people will be astounded

if you are gentle!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Poem - too

too hot
too cold
too new
too old
too hard
too far
too much
too too

just perfect

Peom - be a glob of mud


be a glob of mud
some flecks of straw

be a weed
or a flake of wood

easy as sunshine
no care moonlight

stand up sit down
get back up


follow the leaves
randomly blowing

go where
the wind blows

zigzag the straight path
like you are intoxicated

admire trash
admire girls on the avenue


the fence is broken
how lovely

the foundation is leaky
how lovely

the lot is cindery
how lovely

living dying changing
how excellent!

Friday, March 27, 2009

One Day Here and Stove Parts Came By

One day Here and Stove Parts came by.

"Have you seen Chung Tzu?" asked Stove Parts.

"He was here, but now he is not." I replied.

"He is not here, for certain, for I am Here." said Here.

"Certainly, that could be correct." said Stove Parts.

We were startled when Chung Tzu came into the kitchen with a swirl of wind, and a bang on the door.

Before we can recover, Chung Tzu laughs uproariously, like a pirate.

"AH HA HA HA HA!! Well, hello Here!! Where have ya been!?!"

Poem - searching for tao/ is tao searching for tao

searching for tao
is tao searching for tao

it may snow tomorrow
it may snow today

vase by the window
with dried flowers in it

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Phoebe Tells Us About the Happy Wagon

At lunch, with Evan, Phoebe told us about this idea she came up with, she calls it "The Happy Wagon".

Phoebe explained: We all have a Happy Wagon, and we tow it with us as we journey through life. When something bad happens, or when someone is mean to you, it is like having a stone, or stones, put in your Happy Wagon. The good thing about the Happy Wagon is, you can either sprint right by when someone wants to put a stone in your Happy Wagon, or after a stone is put in your Happy Wagon, you can take the stone out and not keep carrying it, if you want to.

I said, Phoebe, that is interesting. Do you think you could carry other things on the Happy Wagon? I think good thoughts and other positive feelings could be on the Happy Wagon as well -- they'd probably make the Happy Wagon lighter.

Phoebe agreed. And some things on the Happy Wagon are not there forever, they fade away on their own, even if you don't use them, or give them to others, or throw them away.

Evan asked Phoebe, but what if someone wants to give you something heavy, for your Happy Wagon, and you don't want it, but you feel like you should take it?

Phoebe said, that's okay -- I'd take the stone (or whatever), and carry it for awhile, and then when the person who gave it to me was gone, I'd put it on the side of the road, because you never know -- someone else might want it!

1 - 2 - 3


I tried once to write something I was thinking, but the pen was broken, so nothing needed to be written.


Before dawn today, I picked some snot and put it next to me on the wooden bench. When rising sun lit on it, I saw Mt. Meru, and all the creatures that dwell there. Then I was the snot, and Mt. Meru was sitting next to me, writing. Later, a bird ate up a blob of snot.


Are you almost there? You're already there. There was nowhere to go. There is not there. The journey was in your mind. But purely, here is no mind. Therefore, there was no journey.

You played with doubt as innocently as a child with a toy.

Daniel Zen

Daniel is 2. He plays in the yard with an old dirty sock.

"I like your old sock." I say.

"No." says Daniel. But he means yes, he appreciates the sock, too.

Later, we are in the kitchen.

"Would you like something to eat, Daniel?"

"No." says Daniel. But by saying no, he means yes, he would like something to eat.

At about 2 o'clock, Daniel looks tired.

"Daniel, would you like to take a nap?"

"No!" yells Daniel. And this time, he really, absolutely, means NO.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poem - The Prayers of Cracked Pot

this is a story about
cracked pot and you
should not read it because
cracked pot was a maniac
like a wild animal

(his eyes bulged
and his beard and eyebrows
he meditated on the misery
of the whole world
saw the intractable nature
of ignorance and grasping
& prayed to the Buddhas

give me thy blessings
for me to build a whorehouse
and with sacred prostitutes
i will bring the swiftest kind
of enlightenment to the reviled

later cracked pot prayed

Buddhas in all directions
innumerable and full of blessings
make me the Buddha
That People Steal From
so in their unforgivable
blasphemous action
they will suddenly realize
the nature of their own mind

and the Buddhas laughed
they said

cracked pot
there are enough whorehouses
and enough stealing and avarice
in this universe and no more
is required nor wanted
we admire your zeal
we admire your passion

but choose a gentler way!

Poem - illusion of being separate

illusion of being separate
what a cunning construct
in this realm of desire
so we keep our whistles

Poem - every day

every day
a perfect sky
and a perfect earth

everything simple
and in a certain place
good or bad

A Great White Crane

"I was surprised! A great white crane flew in today, and landed in my pond. Then he flew out to the West."

"This is a nice little place to visit." says Chung Tzu. "Who knows what can be found here?"

"Bugs, nibbly little roots and plants. Reeds over there, swaying in the wind. A wide blue sky."


"I wonder if I will have more unexpected visitors from far away."

"One never knows. But don't spoil it with more thought, or too many words."

Monday, March 23, 2009


I asked Chung Tzu about that.

"I feel restless", I said.

"That's great!" said Chung Tzu.

"Why great?"

"Because you have to experience restlessness first, before you can be restful!"

"Restlessness -- that is quite a word."

"It is, ain't it!"

Lao Tzu? Chung Tzu? Who? Who?

I'm sitting there, and I jump up, as if stung by a bee, and I say, "Lao Tzu? Chung Tzu? Who? Who?"

Lao Tzu smiles, Chung Tzu laughs.



Lao Tzu (6th century, B.C.E.) is one of the founding philosophers of Taoism. He is reviered as "The Master", and his words and concepts have profoundly influenced Taoism and Taoistic thinking to the very present day. He is the author of the Tao Te Ching, his magna opus, expressing the Tao, and all aspects of it. He cultivated the concepts of Wu Wei -- the doing through non-action, and the ideal of P'u -- the "Uncarved Block" where you can appear to be simple, and act simply, but get everything done.

Serene, insightful, quiet, and naturally profound in all things without doing or not doing, no effort required, nor non effort. Lao Tzu, here's to you.


Chung Tzu (369 - 268 B.C.E.) was a leading thinker of Taoist philosophy, often using satire and irrelevance to illustrate the Tao, or "Way". He is noted for humor, and earthy language to make his points clear to the listener. He routinely lampooned worldly religion, famous public figures, and superstition.

In literal translation, he is called Zhuangz. Many call him Master Chuang, Chuang Tzu, Zhuang Tze, or even Chouang Tse. For me, is his more like the Elvis of True Seeing. Or the John Coletrain of Breaking Through.


CM Evans:

Why do I write these stories?
I do not know why I write them, they just are.
They come to me when I recognize them.
Like a goose honk heard in the sky.

But who am I to write these stories?

Who is a goose to honk in the air?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Old Rancid Pine Nuts!

"People might not like what I do." I say to Chung Tzu.

"Well, I don't know about people -- but the squirrels are certainly angry with you." he replies.

"Really? How do you know that?"

"Goodness gracious! You gave them old rancid pine nuts!"

What is the Answer? What is the Question?

It is July 26th, at the Neuilly-sur-Seine, and Gertrude Stein was about to die. Many of her freinds are nearby, along with her partner & the french windows by her bed are wide open to let in the afternoon light.

“What is the answer?” she asks.

When no answer came she laughed and said, “Then, what is the question?”

Gertrude Stein lets out her last breath. But she is still interested in this line of questioning, even though she has died.

Her spirit floats near the ceiling, she's feeling better than she's ever felt in a long time. Gertrude is mildly amused for the fact that after dying, being dead and looking at your body does not elicit any strong emotional feelings of attachment. But now, what about the inquiry?

Just then, the bell rings, with supernatural sight Gertrude can see it is a semi-idiotic knife sharpener, itinerant peddler, and sporadic flasher Gilles de Staal -- she does not know him, but now she knows all kinds of things at a glance that she never imagined comprehending.

Someone has a pretty maid, who answers the door. When the maid tells Gilles that there is no need for anything to be sharpened, he exposes himself in a comically lewd way. The maid screams hysterically, slamming the door.

Ah! There! Question and answer all in one, for Gertrude Stein. Gratefully she dissolves into a perfect light.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Francisco in the Park

I'm in Scofield Park, past the war monument. Looking for Lao Tzu, I see, of all persons, St. Francis of Assisi.

"Hello Francisco."

St. Francis smiles, and motions me to sit on the bench. He is so sweet, so childlike, insisting on holding my hand as the wind blows autumn's leftover leaves higher and higher, towards the green line.

Soon, many birds are all around us, then they are sitting on us, chirping and nibbling on St. Francisco's robe. People are curious, but we are so peaceful, they don't interrupt.

We see Lao Tzu walking up the street, into the park, and up the hill where we sit. St. Francis gets up, saying goodbye to me with his eyes. He and Lao Tzu depart like the two dear freinds they have always been.

Taking a Ride with Chung Tzu


I find Chung Tzu in the livingroom.

"Come here, my darling, and sit with me on the couch, I have a teaching to give you."

I sit with Chung Tzu. He seems to be gathering his thoughts. Then, instead of speaking to me, he plays "Low Rider" on the stereo at ear-splitting volume.

"What was that?" I ask, when the song is done.

"Ah." says Chung Tzu, "Perchance we should have the teaching again. Don't give up."

Chung Tzu plays "Low Rider" again, this time a bit more louder.

"What?" Is all I can say.

"You'll get there. One last time." Chung Tzu plays the song. This time, he sings along to emphasize the lyrics.

"Okay. I got it." I lie.

Chung Tzu seems to be artificially pleased. "Mmmmmm! I admire how receptive you are!"


After Chung Tzu has left, I find the song & lyrics are stuck in my head all day, endlessly repeating. And eventually, after considering it more, I see Chung Tzu's point clearer and clearer.

I call Chung Tzu, but he's out, so I leave a message on his voicemail, "I got it."

When I check my messages later, I have a message from Chung Tzu, "I know!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lao Tzu and Chicken

"I have some winter fat on me." I say to Lao Tzu, who pets the cat.

"Mmmmm." says Lao Tzu, quietly, "I bet you'd taste just like a chicken."

Sharing - or - Playing the Harmonica for a Bunch of Drunken Cowboys

I call Chung Tzu on the phone.

"Hey Chung Tzu!"

"Yaaaassss?" says Chung Tzu like a Dean Moriarty.

"Should I share my writings with other Taoists?"

"Hmmm...let me think about that. I don't play the harmonica that often. Should I go and play for a bunch of drunken cowboys?"

"I know quite a few drunken cowboys. They might like it."

"Is that so?"

"Yaaaaassss....by the way, are you saying Taoists are equivalent to drunken cowboys?"

"That really is quite funny!" Chung Tzu laughs for quite some time.

Chung Tzu and Stove Parts

Chung Tzu comes over with his friend, Stove Parts. They both look at the glistening, put together stove that I cleaned.

"What do you think?" asks Chung Tzu.

"Oh, I think he did a good job." says Stove Parts.

"Was he nice when he did it?"

"Nice enough, I think. But he could work on being nicer."

"Well, okay, kid." says Chung Tzu. "You shouldn't argue with an expert. You passed."

"Thanks so much" I say.

"But don't forget I'm watching you!" says Chung Tzu as he and Stove Parts leave.

Chung Tzu Says Do Something Nice - or - How So

"Do something nice, for a change." says Chung Tzu.

I clean the stove. I put the burner grates in the dishwasher, and set the washer on "Pot Scrub".

"Nice try." says Chung Tzu.

"How so?" I shoot back.

"How so, indeed!" yells Chung Tzu.

Monday, March 09, 2009

At This Point

The wind moves around the house. My two-year-old son won't take a nap. I resolve to leave him in his crib until at least 3.30 PM, he only went down at 2.00 PM. Traffic goes up and down the goddamn road. It never bothered me before, the traffic. Now cars bother me, excessively. This annoyed feeling began last night at 3.00 AM. I have a phone meeting. For some reason, when the meeting starts, I am in a better mood. We tell lame jokes. Most of the team is getting over a cold.

Poem - it just happens

how are you i ask
i'm getting old and i don't like it

i laugh at that

don't laugh it isn't funny getting old
can you still get it up?
i have not tried lately

i laugh again

jesus christ you're so goddamn happy
i'm sorry
no you are still young
so what really is the problem?
that is the problem there is no problem here it just happens

i don't laugh at that

Monday, March 02, 2009

Universal Tree

There are a few things a the museum that are so exciting, I wish to steal them. But, unfortunately, these things I like weigh thousands of pounds. One is a copy of a sarcophagus, the original buried deep in a Mayan temple. On the lid, is a rendering of the cosmic tree of life, the leaves spilling abundantly down the milk of the Universe onto a blessed king who was buried in the stone shell. Taken from one perspective, the carvings look very sci-fi, the king a spaceman lifting off the launch pad, ready for the stars.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Something to Say

What did I want to say? Something clear that came to me, distilled through the purity of dreams. Now in the daylight, lost. But this is okay, because the mechanical music box with the Christmas diorama plays on and on, with the mechanical people in it trimming the tree and celebrating, forever.