The Tao that Appears in the Title of a Book is not the Eternal Tao

I have published a poetry collection via KDP for print and Kindle, available now on Amazon. Those of you who read me here will find nothing new, it’s a collection of my considered best poetry and prose gathered from the blog, and packaged with a cute title and a pretty cover. Please pardon my indulgence. What has two thumbs and finds itself scrounging about in a state of underfunded retirement in a wildly uncertain world? This dharma bum right here. <emoji>polite laughter</emoji>

The Tao is None of Your Business: Poetry & Prose

$9.99 Paperback 🛒 | $5.99 Kindle 🛒

 
“A poem may have no driving force other than its own willingness to stumble candidly into moments as they arise, with unguarded awareness and no clear design. As the wordplay begins, the intentions take form and that is the dance. Both wonder and calamity beckon: it is a hazard and a romance, a mischief and a drama, it dabbles in crisis, rests in curiosity.”

 


(Index to the print edition)

Poems

(g)love, 43
(w)hole, 42
21⁄2, 11
Acres are a Toss Away, 40
An Abundance of Halves, 78
As If It Is, 32
Bell Strike, 12
Belly Dance, 30
Biscuit, 37
Bokeh, 1
Book of Rain, 18
Cell Division, 66
Chika on the Tarmac, 76
Chit for Chat, 10
Confidence Game, 13
Conveyor, 29
Delicacy, 54
Dismissed, 51
Divination, 56
Elated, 52
Epigram for an Ego, 44
Existendencies, 26
Fly by Night, 3
Folly, 70
Hackberry Moon, 74
Heat, 28
How to Abide on Queue, 48
Lapin Agile, 53
Little Done, 19
Lost and Found in the Rings of Saturn, 9
Love at First Sight, 2
Making It, 58
Measurments, 23
Nomenclature for Dummies, 8
Ogle It, 64
Omerta, 79
Quiet Mischief in a Damn Fine Universe, 80
Seasoning, 36
Six Mile Snake, 72
Slam, 24
Stardate, 5
Steadfast, 68
The Chameleon’s Dish, 60
The Days, They Fall Upon, 59
The Fourth of You Lie, 73
The Guru Rinpoche Rehab Clinic in the Sky, 38
The Honerable Judge Mental, Presiding, 75
The Knees, 47
The Phone Intransitive, 39
The Tao is None of Your Business, 6
These Men, 46
Tonic, 65
Too Cool, 63
Unseemly, 4
Walk, 69
What to Do if You See a Bear, 55
White After Dark, 45
Why So Quiet, 50
Wrought, 57

Haiku

Pages 83-88

Prose

Reading Life Aloud, 14
Delta, 20
Flier, Flier, Pants on Fire, 34
Temping, 90

The Sky is Falling and I Want My Mommy

I pressed my claim on this bind
and seized a few of your cells

In the privacy you freely lent
so deep inside of you

And by a little push from papa
formed in borrowed flesh

I came to you, a frightened hare
fresh from the rigors of the bardo

And you received me, gave me flesh
fed me, taught me, released me

Prayed for me as I made my way
into the vices and struggle

Of this craven carnival, with its
barkers and masks

—But first, I came to you

This is all of it your sunshine
where we all warm our faces

It is all of it your day, and
my gratitude should outshine

That cartwheeling sun, for what
you gave, for what you’ve done


Margaret Mary Kubasta Randall (1919-2012)

Title respectfully swiped from Jello Biafra, and NoMeansNo.

Serpentine

Not dapper, not dishevelled
newspaper under arm, he fits right in
a dog pauses to sniff his heel
and registers no concern

There is a long meandering esplanade
vendors, walkers, lunching networkers
someone is feeding pigeons
as readers lose themselves in books

There is no choice, no selection

If there was intent there would be
motivation, and in that, a vector to intercept
a bench to approach, to make appeals

What monster lacks the will
to be monstrous, is all the more so
all contrition and deference
with a merely fanged jaw

He brushes against a shoulder
in an envelope of lung-pressings, close, as
steam exhaled from the hot dog vendor’s cart

How indeed do the protein spikes
bind to these receptors—oh, but they do

A breeze cares not for weather vanes
but finds them, each and every one

The lunch hour wanes, and
the plaza begins to clear out, and later
will be quiet as a cancelled rodeo

There Will Be Blog

It played out slow, like danced-out
Music, a trace of smoke from
A years-old fire, like doubts sneaking
Peeks at a once-proud confidence

I’ve had my encounter with the covid-19, or at least suspect I did. One night of fever and feeling quite ill, followed by a week of mild flu-like symptoms. I was already in self-isolate mode and well stocked for supplies so no biggie. At day five I called Family Medicine at UTMB and they got me right in for the test. Being aged sixty-five gets you something like a senior discount in this particular pandemic. During my examination I got to revisit my blood pressure issue and got a new stronger scrip right there on the spot. The covid test came back the next day, negative, but with the caveat that they’re seeing a lot of false negatives.

Two weeks out and I’m feeling back to normal, newly resigned from my job, looking at a thin gruel of future to sustain me. The new blood pressure meds are working great though. About the only good set of numbers I’m seeing these days.

Stability is sodded
with an eagerness to perceive
that things aren’t changing.

aging: —a gradual dissipation of vanity, by force if necessary. Resistance is possible, though the subject’s levels of self-absorption must increase four-fold in proportion to the level of sustained mirror gazing desired.

Being is the tiger’s tail
these bodies come and go

Being is the monkey’s grin
if only it weren’t so

Notebook, April 2020

Sādhanā

The abiding air seats
the few who knew to come

Gated hollow surrounds
them, within the gateless silence

No congregation, all path
no catechism, other than fixation
and its release

Appearance, thus
with a fetish for self-sensing
this sighted-blaze, this occult

They open into it
and touch the blossom
that cannot be fetish-kept

Sādhanā (Sanskrit) – a means to accomplishment.

DIY No-Sew Bandana Facer

Illustration

20″ bandana
Paper coffee filter
Large wire-tie
2 small key rings

To reiterate what’s coming from the authorities: we should consider that we may be infected and not know it. Makeshift face coverings do help to contain infectious micro-droplets from flying all over the place when you exhale, but don’t do as much as far as filtering out airborne particles when you breathe in.

Many examples already exist for doing face coverings with at-hand materials. Mine uses one of those big wide wire-ties that come on coffee bags to create a stiff bendable ridge across the top of the mask to snug it up across the bridge of your nose. Bandana material does not do so well as a filter, so I added a paper coffee filter into the fold. Vaccuum cleaner bag material would be good as well.


This facer will not need strings or ear loops, it just ties up at the back of your head. You can experiment with the folds to get a size that works for you.


Place the wire-tie into the folds.


Rolling at the top and bottom helps bulk up the material around the edges for a better seal.


Gather up each side near the edge of the coffee filter and secure with a small ring or rubber band or hair tie. They make extra-small key rings that I found to be perfect as far as adjustability goes. When you’re out shopping, keep your distance from people, stay relaxed and breathe shallow. It’s no fun at all to wear but honestly, these are dangerous times. Lots of people were wearing a wide variety of facers at the Kroger’s yesterday so I fit right in.


You can see the keyring cinches on each side, nicely adjustable.

Don’t get it. Don’t spread it.

Illustrations by me using GIMP.

Health Care

I am not advocating for universal health care. I believe we should establish planet-wide care for all inhabitants first, and then concern ourselves with the rest of the galaxy. Those who dwell in other parts of the universe must implement their own programs. Our resources are not, like the universe, infinite.