Wednesday, November 25, 2015

the practice of gratitude

i got a shock the other morning.  when i woke at my usual 6:00 am time i knew, in the marrow of my bones, that i am smack dab in the middle of my life.  i won't get another start at life.  for how many lives are we allowed?  only one.  and know, thru no fault of my own, i am middle-aged.

i know how old i am.  i know the year i was born.  the chronological years is not the shock.  it is the very essence of my being that i feel still so young and that everything is at the beginning.  but life tells me no.  i am not at the beginning.  i am at the middle.  time used to be a vast field.  now time is narrowing to a sharp point.

and yet, instead of filling me with dread i felt a huge measure of joy.  because we only get our one life.  and life is so fucking precious is beyond accounting in words.  because my time is limited i need to change my attitude toward time.  i must practice gratitude for my life.

my joy manifested in my knowing that i am a finite creature.  i will only be here for a few more decades.  my soul may feel young but i know i am not young.  i know, for certain, and not as an abstraction, i will sooner or later cease to be.  since i am an atheist i believe when i die i will cease to exist.

that portion of the deal doesn't bother me.  how i choose to live does matter.  again, it is up to me to adjust my attitudes and my thinking toward the ephemeral and death.  therefore, i choose to practice gratitude.

i think poetry, the reading and writing of it, is part of my practice.  poetry is as natural as taking a shit, having sex, smelling the eucalyptus trees on the cool breeze.  sensual pleasure proves we are alive.  poetry is an erotic pleasure.

poetry is many things as well.  anger, disgust, a call to change society, are part of poetry too.  but it is by poetry i fall in love with the world, again and again.

my practice includes knowing how fortunate i am to have anna, nick, my brothers, my father, my mother, my friends, my family, my house, my books.  this is not an exhaustive list.  there are days when depression rears its ugly black head and all i can do is try to look past the blinders placed on me.

even still, i experience profound joy with all that surrounds me.  particularly late at night when i close the book, or shut down the computer, and then go thru the house turning off the lights.  the very structure of our house brings me right in to the present.  on such a night, i know anna and nick are safe in bed.  the city outside our walls is going on its mad ways.  the world too.  and here i am, middle-aged, the sad, wizened fool of sac, grateful for being in it.

happy thanksgiving, brothers and sisters

Saturday, November 21, 2015

working titles for my next book

messing up

hold the road & pass the pepper

slope down navigator

wiggle it

it sounds like slurp

what language

see you too, delusions

a fist passes thru

one drink and then slide

if you come ask for sky

holding my rose

bang goes big

one loo

tack sa mycket

Thursday, November 19, 2015

horace nods #2

who said you have to be an original
remember your beauty shall fade
there will come a day when no one
will find you fuckable
stop worrying about everyone else
live for today for today shall not come again
don't express reality by trying to be real

horace nods #1

sometimes you must slow the fuck down
give everyone a break
have some wine

Sunday, November 15, 2015

i find myself in a state of blah
perhaps a post-halloween blah
not blah as in boredom
but blah as a mild form of the blues
then again even during my favorite holiday
i was vacillating between feeling great and feeling blue

that happens

i found myself glued to twitter and TV
on friday saturday and today
i know what happened in beirut
i saw what happened in paris
i know the climate is reaching 1 degree C
we are near half-way to what might be
irreversible instability

i recall a TED talk by sherwin nuland
about his clinical depression
about how nuland developed his mantra
when he felt himself sliding toward the black pit

seemed to work

i read a reply to an idiot's sorrow
agreeing, yes WE are all going to hell
so enjoy the ride

what a ride
what sorrow

if i could say FUCK IT
if i could enjoy the ride
if i could practice my own form of peace
my kitchen-sink buddhist practice

my own private idaho

the man in the back row has a [open-ended long-winded esp. obtuse] question

now what?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

life lesson #312

because no one gives a shit
if you write poems

say everything in poems

sometimes a poem is an act
of standing aside with your mouth open in wonder
while you murmer
holy shit


some days it is necessary to your survival
to sit simply and gaze out the window

think about luck
how you read today that this universe is unstable

how nothing is stable
and if things were perfect there would be nothing at all

like when that finch hit the front window
down and dazed

perhaps dying
and when you left to run an errand

and your wife and son put the bird
in a box

brought it in to the house
to warm up and recover

if it could
you expected to find its corpse

because that is how the universe works
but no the bird leapt against the cardboard

wanting out
side and your son obliged

the finch flew out to its life
while you thanked life itself

instability allows for life
to create a poetics of yes

and no
the whole lot of it

cooperation not

you want to write
in a few hazy lines

you want to hug
it all

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

it came from the trailer park!

i don't know how i missed this flick.  this must be the place [2011].  a middle-aged goth ex-rock star, played by sean penn, is searching for the nazi war criminal who tormented his father in auschwitz.  what will the old goth, named cheyenne, do when he finds this nazi?  i don't know!  i just learned about this movie last night.  but it looks fucking rad!  sean penn owns this role.  by the tenor of this trailer the movie seems more sweet-natured and is about personal illumination rather than revenge.  an old man goth!  and david byrne is in this film too!  i'm in!  now i need to see this flick.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

we are so in autumn.  my walks in and thru my beloved city are magic.  the city comes alive at night.  the air feels better against the skin when it is cold.  not freezing, but cold.  but oh shit how xmas has come so early.  the day after halloween, in fact.  i am currently watching the TV channel Hallmark which specializes in g-rated programming.  Hallmark is better known to me as the xmas movie channel for during the holiday season the station broadcasts a shitload of holiday movies.  mostly they are romantic films featuring a lonely, but successful woman, and a lonely, but successful man.  the woman and man are paired up either by job or social circumstance but resists the charms of each other.  the woman or man either has a dog or a precocious son or daughter.  the dog or precocious son or daughter plays an instrumental role in getting the man and woman to realize they have fallen in love with each other.  at the end santa usually makes an appearance, snow falls on their lovely community, and magic is a proof against the indifference of our jaded world.

you would think i don't like these films but i do.  i'm an older dude.  i used to be a younger dude.  but no longer.  that happens.  every one old or older was not so long ago young.  and these xmas movies usually star pretty women, and men, who are on the outer edges of being older.  many movies do not star women in their late 30s, 40s and dare i say it, 50s.  these xmas films do.  so for me it is a breath of fresh air to see a pic starring lovely women who are roughly the same age as i am.

plus these movies are bad.  really bad.  in a delightful way.  yes, i love things that go bump in the night.  i also love romantic movies.  fucking sue me.  xmas is right behind halloween in my pantheon of high holidays.  these movies broadcast on the hallmark channel are exemplars of the holiday season.  goofy, gaudy, and a lot of fun to watch.  like your favorite over decorated xmas tree. 

another theory for living

if you don't like what & how you do
try doing something different