Thursday, July 30, 2009

Poem - Separation

father off to the hospital
will stay overnight for observation

son 2,000 miles away
absolutely terrified his father
might die

messages left
mother sounding exhausted
on the answering machine

the phone rings
son picks it up expecting news

pre-recorded line wants to sell him
a vacation to mexico & the
adventure of a lifetime

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today, what a day. Before waking up, I dream I'm going to miss an important flight. I had time, but I wasted it, and now there's no way I'll make the connection. I rush through the streets of an alternate San Francisco, getting more lost as I go on. The irony in this, is, I have been lost in this same alternate city many times before -- in previous dreams of being late for something. So all the time I am getting increasingly lost, I know I am getting increasingly lost. Look, I've been lost here before! Up ahead, I'll be even more lost! I recognize this neighborhood -- the one I was completely turned around in, before!


In the waking world, the phone rings at 8 AM. I get up, and talk to a collection agent. When I hang up, I notice I am naked, and the whole street can see me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Poem - later something else

they say i shouldn't care
but i'll always be compassionate
i have no choice
it is the way i am

they say i should be cold
calculating and realistic
husband my strength
but love cannot be exhausted

we have no choice but to go on
this is the way it is
but i resolve to make it
as well as i can do it

we have no choice but to go on
the moon last night
blue sky today
later something else

Monday's Obscure Sumerian Proverb, no. 3

"...meadow grass is the milk of a lettuce."

Proverbs: from Nibru
Ni 4166 (Alster 1997 pp. 293-294)
Segment C

A Fortune from the Oak Park Parking Stucture @ Lake & Harlem

At 10 AM I received and indication today, even a fortune, from the automatic parking ticket kiosk at the Oak Park Parking structure, on Lake Street at Harlem Avenue.

As the kiosk vended the ticket, it said, on the digital display:


Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Poem - i changed because

i changed because
i was bored
in the churches
of thought

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Poem - if he feels like it

if you call him
leave a message
he won't answer
because bill collectors
are after him

if he feels like it
he'll give you a ring back

if he does not
please don't call again
and again and again
and again and

Poem - a wide pleasant garden

in my dream i try to apologize
but other people keep getting in the way
they interrupt me when i try to speak
distract you with what they want
endlessly demanding

in the dream we are in a nice place
a wide pleasant garden where the sun shines
see there is plenty of room to move about
i let go and soon you & your retinue are gone
the view remains


Somewhere in Oak Park
in the Midwest
July 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday's Obscure Sumerian Proverb, no. 2

" Says the man lying on the roof, to the man living in the house: "It is too bright up here!" "

Proverbs: Collection 4
Segment B

Poem - all is silence/ in the end

singing to the
silence we

in words
thoughts &

when we observe
the silence it is

unformed and free
uncountable as the

blowing through
going through

all is silence
in the end

Friday, July 17, 2009

Okay for an Adult

I get along with kids, and I especially like the challenge of teenagers. Teenagers, when being informal, will not give you an ounce of pity, especially if they sense you are weak. And every teenager will test an adult to see if the adult is weak, indecisive, and above all -- fake.

I met Ellie, a niece of a friend of mine, while I was on vacation. After talking to her for a short time, she smiled, and looked at me.

"I'm smarter than you." she said.

"Really?" I replied. "You know this after only talking to me for a little while."


"That's interesting. But I have a question for you: How does someone measure intelligence? There are many ways to do this...can you tell me which way is the right way?"

Ellie thinks about this.

"I don't like your face." she says.

"Why don't you like it?"

"It's OLD. You have wrinkles, crow's feet by your eyes."

There is a mirror nearby. I go up to it, and I take a good look. Ellie is right. I have TONS of wrinkles, and crow's feet by my eyes.

"You're right." I say. "I have some wrinkles, but most of them are actually scars. The scars of life."

Ellie laughs at this. Because I am not offended by her, she decides I'm okay, being an adult.

That Night

I was thinking about us fighting in Paris. On that night it rained, at about 2 AM, when I was outside by the balcony watching the silent streets. Soft night rain, me smoking a cigarette -- the smoke curling away caught the light of a distant street lamp. Then I heard someone who sounded young and a bit drunk, splashing down the Rue de Rivoli...going home or back to their hotel I hope. She was American, and sang walking fast, "...but not I...I will long as I know how to love, I know I'll be alive..."

I smiled in the dark, because whenever I think I'm alone on the street, I sing songs like that also.

Poem - these birds/ sing

these birds

dog barking

a car down
the street

Oak Park
July 17

Poem - Far

we swam out
the boy and i

is this too far
he asked

no i said
we're fine

so we swam
farther out

this must be
very far

the boy said
to me

yes it is
but we can swim

out a little more
a little more

see how it is

the boy saw
he could swim far

but still be safe
and he was happy

Thursday, July 16, 2009


He was really upset about one thing, and this made his life miserable. He was losing everything he owned, anyways -- he just didn't expect to start to lose, literally, everything else that was important to him. But when he sat down, he realized, when he was successful and had money and things, he was fat, bored, and stalled. Status and things never made him happy, no matter how hard he worked for them. When he was successful, he had no friends. When things were on track, he never did anything for himself. When life was what it should be, he sacrificed his life for the mundane enjoyment of others.

Now that he his truly losing nearly everything he loves, he has an odd sense of freedom. His teacher told him that whenever anything breaks, or if anything spills, this is a sign of tremendous good fortune. He sees that his whole life is in the process of breaking, and so he might be the luckiest son-of-a-bitch in the whole world. Imagine that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Poem - but many things go away and/ never return

i saw the moon last night
it was not a half moon

it is obvious to me
that it was actually broken
in two

i've been told time heals
all wounds no matter how bad
they hurt

i'll take solace in this and wait
but many things go away and
never return


Poem - like a machine

so here it is
a new moment i

want to say beautiful
but i can't be

positive or optimistic
due to my own

faults which are so
obvious and

glaring i can't believe
i managed to get into

this moment but
the universe is like

a machine & keeps
grinding along no

i do not feel sorry for myself
i only tremble in

wonder and awe as
the next moment unfolds

Monday, July 06, 2009

Robert S. McNamara

Robert S. McNamara is gone, at 93. He died in his warm bed. By his decisions, he ended up killing 53,000 American solders. And 3 million Vietnamese civilians. He knew the Vietnam conflict was not winnable by about 1967, but let it go on. He knew, also, that ultimately, Vietnam did not matter, in terms of the containment of Communism around the globe. What a guy.

Monday's Obscure Sumerian Proverb, no. 1

"A goat can be made to go down into water; in beer it becomes stuck."

Proverbs: Collection 4
Segment A
4.12 -- 17

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

When was the last time you helped....

We are required to help others, like we are required to help ourselves. Why?

Buddha, when he reached enlightenment, could have decided to not help all sentient beings, lost in delusion, lost in samsara. But Buddha decided to get involved, and help others directly, like he helped himself. He didn't say, "Every moment is pure, therefore nothing needs to be changed." and then smiled at the brutality of the world as merely a varied manifestation of the innate purity. No, he gave the rest of his life wandering and teaching anyone who would listen, the way to realize the end of suffering. He was engaged, guided by this ultimate realization of the nature of mind.

We need to follow Buddha's example in being engaged with the world -- tangled in other people's lives, helping to alleviate suffering. The moment is perfect, yes. But hiding out on a cushion, at a retreat center for years and years, is not being compassionate towards yourself, or others. Buddha was spat on, physically attacked, threatened in all manner of ways, but he didn't quit. He had no permanent home. He gave it all up, so the message of compassion and love could be spread.

But I don't care what religion, or faith you follow! I appear to practice Buddhism, but that is a distortion and a exaggeration. When was the last time you helped out a complete stranger?