Saturday, September 03, 2016

slicing back hand

They play tennis in New York at the Open.

I receive David Foster Wallace's book String Theory as a gift.

The Williams sisters play so well.

The tall Greek Australian is analyzed over and over.

Rod Laver sits with quiet smile in the crowd.

Pasta Fazool!  I would call out after missing an easy shot. They thought I was cursing.

Friday, September 02, 2016

in case I never wake up

I notice heartbeat has taken a vacation from its ordinary regimen. That face and head have created sympathy pain with all the suffering in the world. And bridge over dried brook bed is ready to cave and splinter.

It is September. Everything new is old again.

In prison this morning talk of Sufism, physics, Upanishadic ursound heard and remembered, and Albert Camus' youthful writing on God's dialogue with God's soul.

The question looms: if there is nothing beyond God for God to believe in, is there nothing beyond us for us to believe in?

Is this why "nothing" is the edge of our sanity and the difficulty we have when we realize we are not at all what we've thought we were, and nothing near what we think we are?

Just look at how we judge everything to be a matter of slight or might.

What will we do when we finally realize that the fantasy we call politics is the grand illusion no one can see through to a sane solution? That we are caught in a spiral of sinking false and frantic attempts to legitimize a senseless and corrupt system that serves only the self-serving and helps only those needing no help?

So we find something simple to hate -- like a football player who remains seated, his hand not over his heart, as the national anthem is played before the game.

Let's build a wall along the border of intelligent understanding and meaningless bullshit and make New Zealand pay for the pretzels eaten by laborers during their rest periods.

I prefer poetry circles with folks in their 90s and 100s on Friday afternoons. Something of substance. With cookies and tea. 

Thursday, September 01, 2016

collation and recollection

September. It's a new year. Yellow buses pass on road. 

Clouds dark laden over Bald Mountain. Summer wanders off distractedly. 

Sweatshirt leans off hook ready to shoulder suspected chill.

But for something that pulses through frail flesh.

Reminding fragile creatures the impermanence of all that is.

That's all. Just reminding.

This new season of a new year of a new and temporary realization.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

on this day

One red rose.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

44: Jerry West, Hank Aaron, Laddie

We climb stairs

Brush teeth

Pull blanket up

As August, tired, 

Says one more day

Monday, August 29, 2016


We are



Sunday, August 28, 2016

free from repetitive irrational thoughts

This from The Atlantic:

the thinking cure 
For millennia, philosophers have understood that we don’t see life as it is; we see a version distorted by our hopes, fears, and other attachments. The Buddha said, “Our life is the creation of our mind.” Marcus Aurelius said, “Life itself is but what you deem it.” The quest for wisdom in many traditions begins with this insight. Early Buddhists and the Stoics, for example, developed practices for reducing attachments, thinking more clearly, and finding release from the emotional torments of normal mental life. 
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a modern embodiment of this ancient wisdom. It is the most extensively studied nonpharmaceutical treatment of mental illness, and is used widely to treat depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and addiction. It can even be of help to schizophrenics. No other form of psychotherapy has been shown to work for a broader range of problems. Studies have generally found that it is as effective as antidepressant drugs (such as Prozac) in the treatment of anxiety and depression. The therapy is relatively quick and easy to learn; after a few months of training, many patients can do it on their own. Unlike drugs, cognitive behavioral therapy keeps working long after treatment is stopped, because it teaches thinking skills that people can continue to use. 
The goal is to minimize distorted thinking and see the world more accurately. You start by learning the names of the dozen or so most common cognitive distortions (such as overgeneralizing, discounting positives, and emotional reasoning; see the list at the bottom of this article). Each time you notice yourself falling prey to one of them, you name it, describe the facts of the situation, consider alternative interpretations, and then choose an interpretation of events more in line with those facts. Your emotions follow your new interpretation. In time, this process becomes automatic. When people improve their mental hygiene in this way—when they free themselves from the repetitive irrational thoughts that had previously filled so much of their consciousness—they become less depressed, anxious, and angry. 
(-- from, The Coddling of the American Mind,  by GREG LUKIANOFF AND JONATHAN HAIDT, Sept 2015 issue, The Atlantic)

If school is not for thinking, then, what is thinking for, what is school for?

  • Das Bedenklichste in unserer bedenklichen Zeit ist, dass wir noch nicht denken.
      “The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking."

To think is to look at, turn over, ask into, listen carefully and critically to what is presented for our investigation.

We are not to be followers of thought, but thinkers through thought into a clearing wherein each stands itself -- close to and with care for -- that which stands nearby.

This, I submit, is the life of the mind/heart.