mingling molecules and attitudes sinews and desires platitudes and functions nervous circuits and circadian rhythms pure crap and masterful conceptionsMichael Gregory: This is your mind as green slime mold — Vox Populi
…art that honors the art and artist as well as its content, and apprehends it as more than its socio-political reality. Art is hard to do and not everybody can do it. It is not merely a pretext for theory.Doug Anderson: Negative Capability — Vox Populi
I won’t worry about my grown children,
or think about why I ache when I think of them.
Today I bake.
Inhale the frothy smell of yeast rising like magic.
Throw the dough on to the board, flour filling the air with clouds.
Wipe my hands on my apron then
put my shoulder into it,
Kneading. Kneading. Kneading.
My mother would kiss the dough and tell me as she formed it into buns, “Like babies’ bums”.
When I close my eyes I’m in her kitchen.
The smell of baking filling the house.
And then the timer chimes and I wait like a child,
impatient for the bread to cool:
My own mother now,
my own child.
when what needs to be
one needs to
I find writing excruciatingly difficult but it feels so good when I stop. And just having someone take the time to read something I’ve written thoughtfully is huge for me.
The idea of making enough money to live on from my writing is like comparing me, stumbling along with my bundle buggy to the grocery store, to an astronaut in a rocket shooting for the moon.
HOWEVER, I don’t think there is an astronaut who doesn’t see the same moon as I see when I am happy to sit by my window and stare at it.
Before you could read a poem,
you were a poem.
The straight tree grew towards the light and was cut down.
Don’t blame the sun,
blame the axe.
I sat “virtually” with the sangha last night. It’s becoming a regular Wednesday night thing with the Oak tree in the Garden.
A “sangha” is a gathering of Zen practitioners.
I am finding myself slipping in to some very dark places, and not the actual ones that I should, like the one under the stairs that could use some cleaning and reorganizing. Instead I am slipping into a place where I get lost in thoughts that propagate really paralyzing inertia and despair.
It is good to commit to practicing with others. I doesn’t matter the context. The important thing is to just sit practicing Zazen. Which is the context of ‘NO CONTEXT’, (forget about getting your intellect around that!)
I’ve done a lot of sitting lately, lounging actually.
But sitting Zazen we gradually gain (or regain, again and again) the ability to see thoughts arise and dissipate. We learn how to return to this breath and this moment.
And you can also clean out the space under the stairs this way, although, dust bunnies, spiders…that homemade mask is going to come in handy.
Here is one last poem for the month, rewritten.
the jeweled dew glistens
in the morning light.
Smack Between the Eyes Where do we put the poems as hard as stones and as fragile as robin's eggs? Do we nestle them in skulls laid in tidy rows or do we push them with bulldozers into mass graves?
And all the poems written, shitting like dust mites under the furniture, gnawing like rats in the middle ages, dealing like brokers on Bay Street, growing like multiple embryos in Reality Television wombs --what do we do with them? While waiting in a bus shack I had my nose twisted by this Haiku: asleep on the ground motherless, a baby fawn, no, I mean a poem.
This one I retrieved and rewrote, finally understanding the answer.
This is not new except in its present form. I am afraid if you compare writing poems to making bread I’d say mine is never actually past the “I’ve got the ingredients!” stage.
I feel so old
my skin hangs on dried bones,
on my younger face
I remember like a poem
And I have survived
and found a peace that I call home
though sometimes now, it feels like a prison.
I saw the moon in the sky this morning.
and it changed the tide.
like you it seemed to appear without warning
and like you, it changed my mind.
because Love is a catalist
not a cure.
It comes unexpectantly.
It makes us dare
So for you
I crack open and release
my fluttering heart
toss it in the sea,
and play in the breaking waves of your laughter,
and rest in eddies
of your sleeping breath.