Saturday, February 19, 2022

where youngsters visiting will sleep


       (Thomas Merton Bookshed, Meetingbrook Hermitage)

Friday, February 18, 2022

last breath

Glancing at McCann while listening to Dostoevsky. 

Day darkens, staying lighter later every day. 

Snow, after days of high forties low fifties and rain, invisibles itself.

It will be cold tonight. 

 Blaine had raised a glass in front of our guests and said with a grin: 'Til life do us part. It was his sort of joke. We were married. I thought then -- we would watch each other's last breath.

    But it struck me, as I sketched, that all I wanted to do was to walk out into a clean elsewhere.

(-p.153, Let The Great World Spin, by Colum McCann)

 One wonders, where else is there? 

A big brooding poet who lived across hall from me at Holy Name College in Washington DC in 1968 was in the throes of psychotherapy and shared his current realization that life is analogous -- that wherever you go, there you are. So he was staying put, at least for a while. 

In my room there, hanging aslant from light fixture and wall by window, the discarded paintings by Spanish artist who lived next door, one of a small boy holding in open hand the lifeless body of a bird. The artist had thought to be rid of them. I was where art went when broken or unfinished.

I was elsewhere. Homeless poetry and fractured art. The shared context of venn nuptial abandoned before final commitment.

Broken vows, unspoken emancipation.

Watching each other’s last breath.

tumbling brook clings to white chair

 Dooryard tree settles

finally still. Wind has gone --

Leaving in quick huff

drips and drags

Not being a nihilist, but an absurdist, has its benefits.

One is that you can enjoy what makes no sense rather than despairing of it.

Even though life is meaningless, it is worth living and should be embraced as it is. 
(-about Albert Camus’ Philosophy of Absurdism, by Alain de Botton, YouTube, “How to Live in the Present”)

The phrasing “as it is” puts everything in perspective.

Everything is always “as it is” so there’s an ever-present availability of reality to draw from, not needing to fabricate or conjure that which you’d want to engage.

I’ve no capacity to think or plan ahead. It’s all either here or not here. I’ve given up second guessing the dribs and drabs shambles of what might have been or what could be.

Things as they are, life as it is, is my address and zip code. I’m a useless and moribund traveler.

Here is what I know…(ah, never mind).

Thursday, February 17, 2022

need not, say less, more

 If you

Love wisdom

You are

A philosopher.

Now it’s

Time for


they think i'm okay

 In Steely Dan - Aja (documentaryJul 25, 2019, angle footage from under Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan, twin towers through bare-limbed tree (at 21:55). When was it? Early seventies?

The nescience of the stilled frame.

I might have been driving over the expanse between thick stone pillars.

Perhaps there was no thought of what would come in 2001. How could there be? 

Up on the hill, people never stare  

They just don't care.  (Vertse 1)


Up on the hill, they think I'm okay

Or so they say  (Verse 3)

(from song, Aja)

 That's the thing about history, like death, it only happens to others. The dust has settled into corners of alley remembrance.

You seldom look at things until they break. Until they're gone.

That's how we learn about soul.

How everything that is disappeared goes nowhere. How we learn to see what is not there.

chanting and ch’an— tīng*

 Imagination places me in monastery

Benedictine psalmtone echoing melody


Mokugyo fish drum keeping Mahayana time

Sandokai and maha prajna paramita hrdaya sutta

(I am there)

Contemplative monastic and

Zen monk

(As who I am)

While creation creates itself

Throughout unseen dimensions

(Am I, there)

But, then,

The thought —

 (Shall, ‘I’, be there?)

…   …   …

* Ch’an =  = meditation/zen

厅 = tīng = hall/room

 '婷  = tíng = graceful

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

one hundred pages later*

 Something there is that

doesn’t get to meetings not

even when prepared

I’m beginning to think (I)

just don’t belong anywhere

….  …   …

* The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, Paperback – October 1, 1997  by  Nelson Foster  (Author), Jack Shoemaker  (Author)

one time place this

 When I die

There will be

No one

At that moment

There will be

No time

Tell me — 

Is there 

No place to be

I love you —

There! — there’s 

No (unsaying) this

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

seven words

 The young woman living above a gym attached to a Baptist church said these seven words in the final circle of Tuesday Evening Conversation:

“God wants to move through this now.” (CJB)

As good a theological thesis and philosophical tenet as any I’ve heard. 

loquitur te ipsum . . . cura te ipsum

 Let me explain...

              ( no)



But I want to

explain my life, my failures...


I am such a disappointment...


A nobody, no skills, nothing

to recommend me. Nothing...


I cannot show my face, there's

nothing redeemable. Please...


Where are you going? Don't

you have anything to say...


Hello? Are you there? Won't

you even acknowledge me...


a plea to free what I cannot see

 I yelled yesterday

Heads ducked doors closed feet walked on —

Truck air horn protest

when the time is right

 Justice camps in woods

Off-grid winter gear deep in

No hurry plodding

Monday, February 14, 2022


 Chocolate cheese cake

Fig bars and green goodness — do

you think love enough

the muck of unending lies

 “We don’t know what happened, and we will never know what happened, because it’s unknowable.” (Annie Applebaum, re the “Flood the zone with shit” strategy of Trump’s and Russia’s cynicism and nihilism, in Sam Harris ‘Making Sense’ podcast #274 “The Future of American Democracy”)

finally, something

makes sense about the damage

done to our psyches 

how things change

 It was yesterday

A few minutes ago — now

It’s not, gone — Entführt

Sunday, February 13, 2022

any one there

 Stay here

   Where could I go?

I am leaving.  

   Where will you go?

Ask for stability

   Nothing lasts forever

Go there

   Say nothing


   Sie sagt für dich: Ich bin