Saturday, April 01, 2023

as he observed the world around him

A wandering mind need not always stay at home to find clarity and expression. These things arise from observation and curiosity accompanying each step taken away and anon. 

Despite his success, Bashō grew dissatisfied and lonely. He began to practice Zen meditation, but itseems not to have calmed his mind.[26] In the winter of 1682 his hut burned down, and shortly afterwards, in early 1683, his mother died. He then traveled to Yamura, to stay with a friend. In the winter of 1683 his disciples gave him a second hut in Edo, but his spirits did not improve. In 1684 his disciple Takarai Kikaku published a compilation of him and other poets, Shriveled Chestnuts (虚栗, Minashiguri).[27] Later that year he left Edo on the first of four major wanderings.[28]

Bashō traveled alone, off the beaten path, that is, on the Edo Five Routes, which in medieval Japan were regarded as immensely dangerous; and, at first Bashō expected to simply die in the middle of nowhere or be killed by bandits. However, as his trip progressed, his mood improved, and he became comfortable on the road. Bashō met many friends and grew to enjoy the changing scenery and the seasons.[29] His poems took on a less introspective and more striking tone as he observed the world around him: 

馬をさへながむる雪の朝哉 uma wo sae / nagamuru yuki no / ashita kana

   even a horse / arrests my eyes—on this / snowy morrow [1684]  

 (--Matsuo Bashō, wikipedia)

It's not infrequent one's mind finds it difficult to stay at home. This is not a deficiency. Let it go. It will either disappear or it will meander among all its familiars seeking scents of interest along sides of road. 

It is long believed we have to control the mind. That might not be the preferred protocol for the poetic instinct. It wishes to be off leash. Going side to side. None of it is of any consequence.

The periodic comment to New York Times opinion piece, or Washington Post article, or Twitter post, other platform observation needing sardonic reply -- all of no consequence. A mere bagatelle, as the cheerful friar from 1970 Jolon California mission community would say. Nothing but spare notes and scattered crumbs that even the most undiscerning ears and unpicky beaks would leave unattended and unscavenged. 

But we do it anyway, uncaring as to whether, breadcrumbing the trail, there's anything left to retrace the way home.

Just dropped.

Left behind.

Thread without needle, repairing nothing, untied nor fastened.

Imagination walkabout.

Noting everything.

Nothing saved.

Not a thing to be esteemed nor redeemed.

Just there, where it is, nodded to, greeted in passing.

A transcendence with no destination, no ground from which to depart.

The landscape of not-yet. 

women’s ncaa

 Iowa Hawkeyes 

Beat South Carolina in

Final four — hoop hoop

won’t get fooled again . . . (don’t ask)

Do you know who I

Am — any idea — huh?

I am a great man,

Alone at the top, better

Than anyone else, ever

Friday, March 31, 2023


The Florida man

has been "indicated" (he

said) indicating 

something, some mistake he made

that, surely, castes a dark spell

Thursday, March 30, 2023

don’t talk, be quiet

 Justice is crippling

Even the sturdiest legs

Buckle under truth

what did he mean

Not yet

Ascending to the father

In the process of


What is


“Not yet”

no fooling the dead

 TC: "I wanted to double the number of locks on the doors." 

Murdered child: "Thanks, Mr Cruz." 

TC: "It's the Dems, kid." 

Murdered child: " Yeah, sure it is. Sure it is."

to grind the fable of my life down

 It is a Haibun, she says.  

Haibun (俳文?, literally, haikai writings) is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku.
haibun may record a scene, or a special moment, in a highly descriptive and objective manner or may occupy a wholly fictional or dream-like space. The accompanying haiku may have a direct or subtle relationship with the prose and encompass or hint at the gist of what is recorded in the prose sections.

Traditional haibun typically took the form of a short description of a place, person or object, or a diary of a journey or other series of events in the poet's life.[3]

 And it is Thursday:

On Moving 


by Jane Huffman

Like butter, gone. I’m moving on, because it would be ludicrous to stay. It feels like a return (to sanity), although I’ve never been. (I’ve never lived a mile west of Illinois.) “I come home from the soaring,” Rilke wrote in The Inner Sky, which I take as imperative (omit the “I”): to ground, return to Earth, to grind the fable of my life down like orpiment into a yellow ash and tie my body to the floor. Rilke writes of God (“still roaring in my ears”) but God, for me (today) is fear. Goodbye to my deteriorating house. Delirium. I’m out the door. Stasis is a sieve through which I drag myself.  

 Literature feels / far away. Black bulls grazing / beyond a pale hill. 

(Copyright © 2023 by Jane Huffman. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 30, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.)

Both Haibun and Thursday, companions. 

from other side

 dozing on sun porch

sounds of squeaky wheel -- I search --

outside, birds in tree

you can't handle the truth

 standing guard on wall

comes enemy in the night

conscience acquired -- shoot

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

rebirth this way

 First breath of infant

Breathes in every last breath

The dead have left here

Their souls linger in corners

Taken in and lived in us

being is, non-being is not

 Good versus evil

Is not the equation — ask

About what “is not” —

“What is” is reality

What “is not” is our absence

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

if i am to be compelled to take part in it

This Danish existentialist would look at our guns and lethargy and not blanch. He'd loathe the cynicism and self-satisfaction of those receiving gun lobby pay-offs.

Maybe it's not existence which is so troublesome, but what the uninterested do with their uncaring insouciance.

Hegel emphasized universals; Kierkegaard argued for decision and commitment. Hegel sought an objective theory of knowledge upon which everyone could agree; Kierkegaard believed in the subjectivity of truth—meaning that truth is understood and experienced individually.

Existence, he believed, is actual, painful, and more important than "essence" or "idea." The authentic person wrestles with fundamental questions that cannot be answered rationally. As Kierkegaard once wrote, "My life has been brought to an impasse, I loathe existence…. Where am I? What is this thing called the world? What does this word mean? Who is it that has lured me into the thing and now leaves me there? Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs? … How did I obtain an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint?"

(--in, Søren Kierkegaard, Christian existentialist, in Christianity Today

Maybe Hegel is right -- continue to try for "an objective theory of knowledge upon which everyone could agree," rather than falling into a dread depression at the futility and shoulder-shrug impertinence of the ideologically cemented stony hearts selling nothing but hard-nosed dismissal to those in sorrow.

Their responses: Buy more guns. Shoot the bastards who try (successfully) to shoot through scopes of aimed grievance, then clean up the killing field. We've got this. Lock and load. Screw the idiots who try to curtail evil and its loud repeating reports.

Soren, the world is us.

I suspect we create us.

If you must complain, here I am.

Grab a coffee. Sit. You start. I'll listen. 

Then -- after having at it -- let's go kick some butt. 

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, you come too.

the thinking of cynics

 Guns, you would tell me,

do not kill people, shooters

perform that task. Right?  --

But such shallow assessment

does nothing for anyone

no less than

 Promo for Natalie Goldberg's "Haiku: The Leap" --

 “Haiku is about paying attention.” Natalie Goldberg offers a deep dive into the work of Tim Roberts who found haiku after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 49. His haiku in his new book Busted: Reflections of Police Life reveal that you can write haiku about anything. “One shot gun/Three of us walking/Doing the math.” Often, but not always, there is a leap in haiku, which “allows us to experience a little sensation of space.” Alan Ginsburg described this space as “no less than God.”

Intimation, not 

intimidation -- maybe

God's new home address

Monday, March 27, 2023


 Don’t look back, go on

There’s nothing to see back there

Go on, go on, go

corners to withdraw into, nooks to dwell in, and rooms to retreat to

When is a place a non-place? 

The distinction between place and non-place has occupied a critical role in both the philosophy of place and human geography for the last 20 years. In a distinction that stems from Marc Augé but is traceable to Edward Relph, “place” is thought as being relationally constructed, laden with meaning, and shaped by a broader history; home being emblematic of place. “Non-place,” on the other hand, is taken to mean places divested of meaning, homogenous, and largely interchangeable; airports, supermarkets, and pre-fabricated office complexes being examples.

Whilst this distinction has tended to be pervasive and influential in phenomenological accounts of place, critical analysis on the relation between place and non-place has been sparse. This paper aims to (1) develop an analysis of the distinction, ambiguities, and tensions between place and non-place. (2). To question and interrogate what kind of difference is involved in this distinction. (3). To address the role intersubjectivity and affectivity plays in the “sense of place.” 


Let us imagine ourselves nestled within the tranquility of a French villa. The place is a retreat, seemingly remote from the concerns and anxieties of the “real world” back home. Within its homely embrace, a series of windows overlooks a forest, enclosing the villa within a world of quiet intimacy. Here and there, we discover corners to withdraw into, nooks to dwell in, and rooms to retreat to. When opening the door on the world outside the villa, far from being confronted with a world hostile to that of the sanctuary, the surrounding forest and pathways toward the beach instead reinforce the peaceful sense of place. Indeed, it is a singular place, perched above the sea, with a distinct character, and quite unlike anywhere else. 


As the vacation draws to an end, as it must do, it will be necessary to leave the world of the villa in order to return home. A short drive takes us to the airport, where we are now waiting in line to check our luggage in. Unlike the space of the villa, which is characterised by alternating textures and divergent tones, the spatiality of the airport is both flat and homogenous. At no point is the fluorescent light broken up by the existence of shadows. The effect of this constancy is that the airport is deprived of depth. In objective terms, the distance between the villa and the airport is negligible.

In experiential terms, however, the villa feels distant and ungraspable. The adjustment we must undergo in the airport is full of resistance, as though our bodies were unprepared to let go of the atmosphere of the villa. As a result, we experience the airport as an oppressive place, at odds with the villa, and having no memorable or intrinsic qualities, other than being a place we must pass through in order to get home. 

(--from, Place and Non-place: A Phenomenological PerspectiveDylan Tripp,

 I dwell in a place that shrinks to a single room. It serves as zendo, library, office, bedroom, barbell exercise space, clothes closet, laundry basket, shoe and socks hangout, back of door pants hangings, museum and art gallery wall, charging center for Apple devices, dog and cat sanctuary, bird watching station, nap resource, meditation altar, storage center, and finally, anchorite cell for idiorhythmic hobo mendicant ne'er-do-well. 

I know my place

Passing through

More and more . . .

It is less, and, less

are you not or are you by yourself






Sunday, March 26, 2023

are you alone or are you not