Monday, December 31, 2007

Words to Myself

When you feel like life is too much,
make it less. Remove something.

---

I filled a box for good will.
I trimmed the bonsai.
I took out the trash.
I folded the darks.
A small change in direction:
True.
That is how personal revolutions always start
humble, mundane, and wild with potential.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Words to Myself

When in doubt, do what is in front of you.
When in doubt, do what you know to do.
When in doubt, relax and wait until you aren’t.

---

A glass sits to the left of my laptop, and
on the right, “Jung, a very short introduction”.
I know I need to fold the darks, and
I know I need to fix dinner.
A bath might relax, while the wine
will help me wait
, until I’m not in doubt.

My life, will have a new woman in it

My daughter is coming in days.
This presents itself like a new thought
ever hour.
My life, will have a new woman in it.
New love.
I'm unstable with the waiting
I want her here now.
I imagine her too much
I'm grumpy with the waiting
a thorn in my paw, festering
No over night delivery option available
No way to prepare that doesn't seem
useless,

I'm sitting down to write
because I don't know what else to do.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Buffalo Burgers

We went to see the buffalo in 1992.
We also went because it was cool
Aaron wanted to go
so I thought it was cool
and so Tim thought it was cool.
So we went, to see the buffalo.

It was fall
cold wind
nice days.
We drove for hours,
engaged in great college
conversation,
finally arriving
at the OK state park.

We parked
and walked
a
long
way.
We saw scat
and followed the track,
we looked for hours
until
we despaired,
tired,
wanting beer
and conversation.

On the way to the car,
we split up,
searching individually
for a final chance at seeing a buffalo.
I walked over a rise
covered in scrub trees,
pushed them back
and I was within five feet of one,
five feet away,
I could fall over drunk and hit it
in the head with a pint glass:
We were both startled.
She snorted.
I went quiet
just staring.

They are big animals
dumb eyed but not so
tame as cattle.
They remind me of
history lessons
and rugged country
when men were proud
and the Right was personally enforceable

This is an appeal of the country
this culture
this illusion of manhood
its very nice
to be a man
with boots
a truck
and a physical job.

----------------------

The buffalo got bored with me
snorted out a long
trail of snot,
all the way to the ground,
surely some bison style insult.

She turned,
sick of me,
and too slowly
walked off;
another bison style
fuck you.

I started
thinking again,
experience sped up,
it was over.
She had left
without saying a word.

I had no idea what that meant
I stood for long minutes
stunned.
Maybe she had
said something to me
something beneath the tongues of men
something older.

I could hear Aaron and Tim yelling.
I smiled and hiked back over the hill
towards the cars.
We had dinner at one of those
"famous" burger places
frosty mugs of beer and lots of seats.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thoughts about our purpose

In recent studies I have been impressed with the Western Renaissance and Enlightenment time periods. They seemed to still highly prize the inner journey, personal growth, self actualization. They seemed excited about their new tools. Enthusiastic about themselves and what they could bring forth. They were playing in a very real sense, and I found myself wondering; when did the American Dream replace personal fulfillment. When did material wealth push aside other forms of wealth? When were we ever so materially satisfied but so personally unfulfilled?

Our founding fathers seemed to still have this quality. We have lost a cultural and personal quality that provided a deeper way to appreciate life, and we lost it within the last two centuries. Maybe it has just atrophied from disuse. Maybe it is still there just waiting to be revived. I imagine it sitting just below the surface, you can see it at times, dehydrated by the nearly singular appreciation for monetary wealth. It waits for water to be poured into it, it waits to be revived and rebuilt for the information age.

That First Decade

The first decade of my adult hood, was wild,
it was passionate,
it was creative, and
dangerously undisciplined.
I am who I am because of it,
and in that way I celebrate it,
but in a very real way
it was a waste of material.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Way We Lived

I was never good with women.

My twenties were flowing with them
but I had no use for them then,
or barely any, besides the basic
exercises and interactions.

On rare occasions,
usually in the fall,
I would want a real girlfriend
but I would have no idea what
that meant, really
or what was required.
Effort would be wasted
in futile attempts that rarely
amounted to more than saying hi
or waving. I would leave poems
and drawings for anon girls
in coffee shops,
then leave,
not to return for months
due to both poverty
and the fact that the cave
was always
hard to escape from.
-

Who was I then?
I was hungry.
I was poor.
I was alone.
I was manic and crazed.
I was desperate.
I was alive with creativity.
I was a magnet
hiding from metals.
-

I rarely remember eating.
For years I think I barely ate.
I was heroine skinny
but it was all
cigarettes,
whisky,
and minor drugs,
mostly I was burning
from thought
consumed with thinking.
Undisciplined mind
Uncontrolled abilities
leaking all over the ground,
the cheap carpet,
the floor furnace,
the smoke colored walls,
the paintings hanging from every space possible.
I was living on pure
liquid youth.
-

I painted the closet doors
took them off and hung them on the walls.
I painted cabinets and sheets of hard board.
Those were hung on the walls too.
The house was all open cabinets and closets
and a wild riot hanging from the walls.
I ran out of detachable surfaces
and starting painting what was left of the walls.
It was a museum
made by everyone living there
painted by me
but made alive by the crowd
coming in and out,
saying my name,
talking about me, only feet away,
betting on when I would die.
-

They all lost:
I am still alive, and
grounded by memories, imbued
with the solid craftsmanship
of unhindered youth.
-

The way we lived
baffled those around us.
“How do you keep it up?”
“When do you study?”
We studied every night
We were desperately studying
, searching, for ways to keep going,
ways that made living better
than not;
Hoping, the next book, hit, girl, party,
would somehow balance it all out
so I could keep a job
so I could stop crying
when a girlfriend would hug me
so I could stop thinking
so I could stop burning
so I could just stop
and relax
and feel normal.
The way we lived was more like survival
than the careful experimentation of our peers.
They were baffled and entranced by us.
We were burning bright
right before their eyes
and they didn’t know any better than to clap.

Cynthia Trigg

I barely knew this girl.
She was short, freckled,
cute of body
and she was unstable,
of course the women that would
gravitate towards me were unstable
crazed in some unique way unto themselves
hoping for someone to figure them out
unwind them and string it back together
but first, to tolerate
to listen
and be there for the binges
for the cathartic, nearly daily
explosions of living.

I didn't know cynthia for long.
She would wear a grey hoodie about campus
sulking in a way
but angry too.
Something lurking there,
in the past:
Common malady really.
There are only so many
events that haunt young women like that
and she had one of them.
I never asked which, becasuse
you will always find out eventually,
when they are ready,
and you never really want them to be ready;
best they stay fun and crazy
small sideshows that take the mind off
introspection,
take the mind off
pointless, hard, victory free topics
that never cease to beat themselves about.

I knew her briefly,
I think I scared her away.
She realized I was farther crazed than
she understood, or wanted to.
She wanted to be pulled back
into the center crowd
pulled back into the warm
and moist light of the well understood.
I wanted to nail wings to my shoulders
and leap off buildings.
I wanted to push whatever would give
and to drink
all day
every day
while reading classics
and talking madly about them
deep into the night.
I was still looking, searching for the edge.

When I found her sitting on a stone ledge
6 feet above the ground
dangling her short little legs
looking out from under her hoodie
like a neglected idea, lost from parents
and home, lost from convention and
open to suggestion and new ways of thinking,
I knew she would follow me back
I knew she would
I could always spot that, it was a gift.
We were going different directions though,
but briefly happened to be in the same place,
for a moment.

I remember the color of her panties
her mood swings
and her easy offense
at finding a mathematical chart predicting her
behavior for the next few days.
I thought it showed my interest
and that she would recognize my genius
and embrace me,
"No one has ever thought about me so much!"
, but she just stared at it,
as if she just realized she was rubbing
up against an evil villain,
a completely dangerous lunatic,
or something so serious it would
take her away from herself.

She pealed back from me,
so quickly adhered, the broken,
and so quickly parted.

Memory Operator

I've known many people, closely.
This is not easy.
It becomes a weight.
Their faces come back at you
some slip in
some jump in
and some hit you hard in the gut,
memories are not there for our entertainment.
They have their own purposes,
we just run the projector.

Cold Weather Wear, Part Three

Winter has qualities for the smoker
air breathed in warm
cherry burning bright
smoke hanging in front,
above,
all around
like a camping tent,
or an umbrella.
A shroud that
smokers shrug into
like familiar jackets.
Somehow it elevates the streets
to an interesting place,
where faces and people are warm
and more approachable.

When I used to smoke
I could stand there exhaling
and gaping at everyone
feeling new
and deeply potential.

Cold Weather Wear, Part Two

People on the inside,
those huddled close
to the center mass of humanity,
the very density of the crowd
making them nuclear bright.
They can't see us out on the edge
making our own raw sputtering light.
From their over lighted house they
look out, thinking
there is nothing there,
but we can see them
and ourselves.
We are surprisingly well adjusted,
we are aware of more life
than they.
-

Out here on the edge, in the dark
we have a perspective
a vantage point.
We have a spatially social
point of view.
-

We don't huddle out here,
not much.
We work
strange designs in the sand
with our minds and fists.
At first, just to stay warm
and then, after awhile
other reasons evolve out of the dark
other colds are realized
new work
to be done.
-

When you are surviving,
a daily drink can be a life preserver,
a weekly kindness a reason to wait and see.
-

There are numerous patient drunks
maintaining vigils from mountaintops,
tree tops, skyscraper roofs,
from behind telescopes, spy satellites,
and from a sick variety of recliners, all
waiting for the world to change,
waiting for a world with
holes
shaped like themselves.

Waiting for a world
with hopes
to match
their needs.
-

I notice the wind more in the winter.

Cold Weather Wear, Part One

I have never been bored in winter.
Cold weather does wonders for my appetite,
teas and soups taste better,
breathe and it hangs in the air
like thin sheets streaming
behind words and thoughts,
as we rush from office to home,
and back. We always go forth
to somewhere warm
and bright.
-

The outside, always hostile
to life, especially mine,
acts openly in the winter, finally honest,
affirming my attitudes,
confirming my experience,
bringing my behavior closer to normal
leaving me feeling casual
not having to explain
why I'm rushing home,
why inside is my main
source of warmth
and freedom.

In winter I’m
a full standard deviation
more statistically normal
than in summer.
-

Not having to explain
my normal
to those who practice
a normal closer to societal mean
is very relaxing.
-

"Us" and "Them"
is so much more clear
when a personal
cave
defines the boundaries.
-

Solitude adds resolution
to vision, it refines.
Society is required
for new definition,
it winds, reminds and exerts
the force of organizing kind,
we respond and become who we are.
-

Solitude refines what living defines.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Forgotten Buddhas

When I feel my best I don't write. I just feel.
Days will go by, without a written word
I'll be in the groove
living
without thinking, just feeling the being.

I wonder if that is why Socrates and Jesus
wrote nothing.
Maybe they just felt.
Or maybe that is all part of the deification process,
infallibility requires no permanent record
no lasting evidence
a comet streak
a story
retold, among bored brothers
after a long summer day of gaming.

How many modern Buddhas
live among us
lacking the less than perfect friends
writing
recording
establishing a record...
how would we ever know.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fitting Into the Scheme of Trees

I was outside
under the canopy covering my house.
It was close to sunset.
I was in a chemically perfect spot,
looking up, eyes open
watching the tops of the trees
sway easy
back
forth and back
making that slow sound
of rubbing,
of limbs touching.
So rare for the immobile.
So exceptional for the solitary.

Outside felt more
inside than was usual
and I knew
those trees were
seducing me,
softening me,
patiently acclimating me
to that slow sound.
They have been all along.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Forget it

You have a space time location. Accept it. You can not go back and live with the Greeks or the Romans. You can not go back and be a Christian in the first century. Your complete make up is incompatible, you are a modern man or woman, born and raised to thrive right here and right now.

Forget doing anything. Forget being anybody. Forget being famous, rich and wanted by all. There are too many of us and we are too varied to really think everyone is going to appreciate you, forget it. Forget all that, and the creative sea of variations plaguing you and keeping you from appreciating where you are at, who you are, and what you have to work with.

You are a force, thrown in a direction. You have a space time location and you are headed in a direction. Want to be happier. Forget everything and remember your self. Notice where you are. Figure out who you are and what you have to work with - run with that.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dreams

My dreams have been hostile and unkind
They have used me roughly
Leaving me feeling nervous
and hunted
I have had trouble remembering them lately
Usually I do,
but they are obscured from me
as if a crime has been partially
covered up,
hidden from scrutiny
and judgement
so they can continue
their secret work.