Saturday, March 07, 2015

vast, no, don't

It wasn't what Wu expected. This barbarian wasn't answering as he thought he might.

He said: Vast emptiness. Nothing holy. No merit.

When asked by Emperor Wu who he was, what he meant, what was to come -- Bodhidharma answered, Don't know. I don't know.

Hell, why did he come from the west?

Why do we stay east?

Friday, March 06, 2015

nugatory; who can finish the unfinishable

Jung wrote:

Ulysses is a book which pours along for seven hundred and thirty-five pages, a stream of time of seven hundred and thirty-five days which all consist in one single and senseless every day of Everyman, the completely irrelevant 16th day of June 1904, in Dublin — a day on which, in all truth, nothing happens. The stream beings in the void and ends in the void. Is all of this perhaps one single, immensely long and excessively complicated Strindbergian pronouncement upon the essence of human life, and one which, to the reader’s dismay, is never finished? Perhaps it does touch upon the essence of life; but quite certainly it touches upon life’s ten thousand surfaces and their hundred thousand color gradations. As far as my glance reaches, there are in those seven hundred and thirty-five pages no obvious repetitions and not a single hallowed island where the long-suffering reader may come to rest. There is not a single place where he can seat himself, drunk with memories, and from which he can happily consider the stretch of the road he has covered, be it one hundred pages or even less… But no! The pitiless and uninterrupted stream rolls by, and its velocity or precipitation grows in the last forty pages till it sweeps away even the marks of punctuation. It thus gives cruelest expressions to that emptiness which is both breath taking and stifling, which is under such tension, or is so filled to bursting, as to grow unbearable. This thoroughly hopeless emptiness is the dominant note of the whole book. It not only begins and ends in nothingness, but it consists of nothing but nothingness. It is all infernally nugatory."
(-- Carl Jung, writing about James Joyce's Ulysses,) 
Of course, this outrage over hopelessness and nothingness is only natural for a man who believed that “man cannot stand a meaningless life” and that “the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”

Thursday, March 05, 2015


If a man becomes the language he speaks, who and what is he if he remains silent?

Word itself before language is unarticulated becoming.





no matter what (or better) never the less (Dan Berrigan)


We spoke

dialogic, dialectic


coming to word


with Lao Tzu

in class

last night


Amos Wilder's

revelation, "The

language of

a people is

its fate."




visiting owl

Looking over

Snowy ground

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

feeling glance(d)

Don't record the dream. Just say there was a dream. Dreams are about you and what surrounds you composed by you with emotions as architects with camouflaged meaning coincidental with emergence.

In other words, life.

There was a brown paper bag. There was bed from center room of Brooklyn family house. There was a man who'd moved, it was said, to Long Island. There was a campground. A large cast of extras. Mixed themes. E-with us. Uncertainty.

In other words, life.
Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily merrily merrily merrily
Life is but a dream.

It is amazing there is any order.

A dream out of which some will awaken.

Into what?

That's another tale within another unknowing series of uncontrolled imaginings tucked behind a semblance of occurring facts comprised of melting images across a collapsing screen in a transparent landscape occupied by morphing shapes with partially recognized faces that shift and refashion in an infinitely dancing surrounding projection of mostly forgotten arising and falling phantasms interchangeable feeling glanced at by omnipresent gaze merely glimpsing periphery of one's circumferential assertion of being.

Until it is time for tea and toast.

Nullified void.

Residual remains.

Returning sleep.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Ha! (postscript)

These days (actually just today) I hear the God response to Job 38:41 ( differently. From the Advaita Vedanta point of view, God asks: 
Where were you? Have you ever given orders to the morning? Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of the hail? Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt? etc etc...
I wonder if God is waiting for an answer from Job that is worthy of a new view of being, a new grasp of proper relationality? 
Perhaps Job is getting ready (in 2015) to respond to God: 
"As long as you were there, I was there. As long as you've done what you've done, I've done  it with you. As long as you are, I am!" 
Perhaps the bible is unfinished. 
Perhaps God smiles at Job’s audacious awakening! 

“Ha!” says God.

nowhere to be, found; not imitating the powerful nor following the rich

"They shall not enter into my rest." (Ps.95)

Is God rest?

And if we do not know God's way, we shall not rest?

Busy and busier we are busiest when we are way-less and ungenerous.

I was young and now I am old.

When will it be that we will will be home forever?

And finally resting in Rest's rest itself?

Nowhere to be, found.

Monday, March 02, 2015

no, I'll sit this dance out

The idea is disorded. Money value cannot be held in higher regard than life value.

Yet, that is the way of belief in capital. Money makes money. Life makes life. Our thinking has become unbalanced by the belief that money makes life and life makes money.

This is the source of suffering and misery.

Ill-health is the product of disorded thinking.

Our economic and social way of conducting human existence is doomed to fail with disastrous results. We will kill one another. We will not care. We will import and export cynicism, hatred, inequality, and violence.

Look at police killing the unfortunate. Only property is now valued. Life is expendable. Police protect property. People are the enemies of the propertied.

I know of no solution.

I know no resolution.

It is lent.

The desolate and dissolute wander our roads and sidewalks.  Desolation and dissolution hang heavy over the country.

The monk's words to cheer up, things are only going to get worse -- come back. 

We have only each other to pray for.

We can do nothing -- and that's what we should be doing.

never (the less)

Daniel Berrigan’s piece, “September 27, 1971,” has long captured my attention:
A Chinese ideogram
shows someone
by his word.
Fidelity. Freedom
on the accepted
necessity of
walking where
one’s word
Hebrew prophets and
singers also
struck the theme;
bodies belong
where words
though the com-
mon run of exper-
ience be
that stature
shrinks as
the word
The synthesis;
no matter what (or
better) never                                                                                       the less.  
    (--Daniel Berrigan in, And the Risen Bread: Selected Poems, 1957-1997)
Other favorite names emerge in conversation:
William Carlos Williams first said “No ideas but in things,” and it’s no surprise that between Williams and Charles Olson—himself another pillar of the Black Mountain School, along with Eigner—was a mutual admiration for the imagistic projects of both. Around 1950, Olson spent eight months in Yucatan, where he did field work excavating Mayan ruins; it was here that he first encountered hieroglyphs, the ideogrammic qualities unlike anything his own language possessed. He was so struck by this non-alphabetic system of representation that he wrote a letter to Robert Creeley claiming that the approach “on its very face, is verse, the signs so clearly and densely chosen that, cut in stone, they retain the power of the objects of which they are the images.” 
 (6) man standing by word 
William’s quote gets to the heart of the ideogram: something pre-linguistic that captures what language tries to express but which it ends up muddling. Ginsberg makes reference to the Poundian ideogram when he writes “ChineseWritten Character for truth / defined as man standing by his word / Word picture: …” in his poem “Wichita Vortex Sutra.” In this sense, then, the poetic ideogram is a hail to return to the most atomic unit of all artworks: the perceptions of “truth” that precede their creation. Whether or not one “reads” or “looks at” a Chagall, as I mentioned earlier, makes no difference. 
(from The Kenyon Review, Of ideogrammar  by Andrew David King, February 28, 2012) 
Note: (6) The Chinese ideogram Allen Ginsberg mentions in his poem, which Pound found attractive. A note next to the image reads: “Durable Speech (xìn, 信): man (rén, 人) standing by word (yán, 言).” 
(--from The Kenyon Review, Of ideogrammar, by Andrew David King, February 28, 2012) 

Sunday, March 01, 2015


     "There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past." ~George Carlin
first light

grows toward window --

Maine turns

to March

thanks February

for stepping off

This has beneficial consequences for hermits who are nowhere occupying no place in no present. In this regard one steps off the path into a reformulating silence. It is the stillness of effortless contradiction that suggests no time to conform and no bridge to transform what becomes mere motionless movement disappearing into what word would be if its breathing vision could see its evanescent transparency.

Or, glossing:
Hermit transforms into what becomes mere motionless movement disappearing into word's empty breathing vision seeing evanescent transparency.