I come to wakefulness And slow, a galaxy shifts in its seat Shedding light on the documents. So hesitant to sign off on it The air droops, pregnant With unborn histories And miscarriages.
Featherless freaks thin skinned fur poachers look what all we traded to be brainy enough to have worries. Shivers are the hoarse song poking in to the tune of life where our molecules shudder and shrink and malfunction in the sluggish low frequencies that will withdraw the very beats from our hearts should our adaptations fail.
Here in Texas we are maneuvering our way back to normal after a shock of extreme weather knocked things about. The agency here that governs power grid management is more aligned with Enron-style market games than it is with the public good, so wish us luck.
Photo: Northern Mockingbird on a cold morning, (CC-BY-SA) 2021, G. Paul Randall
in the end
the folds will close, and
nothing will you save
so tell me how
the resolute are pious
stout and brave
the end is nigh
but by and by, tomorrow
rise and shave
it’s better whistling
in the air, than turning
in your grave
Whistlers first appeared in The Poetry Bar, July 6, 2019.
So how much would you likely pay to have yourself a sunny day? We'd like to pay the bill in cloud if that might somehow be allowed. As currency a cloud is very like the dollars that we carry. All puffed up with value there but marking what is actually air. All pomp and cheer when we have money but when it's gone it's not so funny. We go to pay the tab that's due what now? Your wallet's clear and blue.
Photo: close-up of an avocado, with effects. (CC) 2021, G. Paul Randall
I slammed the car door in anger and then I thought about that crazy machine that slams car doors all day long so automotive engineers can see which component fails first after a lifetime of being slammed by mad-as-hell people like me and maybe some of you… They could've asked if they wanted to know it's always the patience that's first to go.
un-baffled exhaust ports of an unseen muscle car breathe noisy fire, roar, then idle down to a purr abrupt report of a pistol then shifting gears as the motor fades into the distance, like self-conscious years writing their way to a halt at the index of a history text all the unprovoked thoughts run adrift, then assemble at sleep's door as the novel loses its thread just like a life lived in earnest innocent as a forgotten thing its power to provoke all played out on a Saturday night in Houston
A rotten orange and this magic wand some bones to hold the lump erect A starter pistol barks for the ready wheels all thrust and penetration not circumspect A fire burns until it's out without much worry I suspect Impermanence (Tib. metakpa)
The magic wand is the appearance of a fixed reality in the orange before it rots. Bones give structure to thoughtless agency. Onward, into the fog. Impermanence is demonstrable, what use is its contemplation? Born into bodies, we had to invent the wheel. This is not the problem. We are like plankton feeding ourselves to the whale of endless craving. We are fire, burning through everything we desire, and suffering pain and loss is the inevitable smoke of this burning.
“In horror of death, I took to the mountains – again and again I meditated on the uncertainty of the hour of death, capturing the fortress of the deathless unending nature of mind. Now all fear of death is over and done.”—Milarepa
Light, upon young skin I noticed you by the grace of it and the rays of it glancing off of everything you touched. Radiance beyond the duality of particle and wave we, spinning and wobbling like fresh formed planets in a steady stream of it. But the Sun of these better days had yet to rise: It was dark the hour we met and that poor Sun probably burns knowing now that I had seen you first and by its own light that it had carelessly loaned to the Moon that night.
The archer's faulted for its lack Subgenius craves it—calls it slack Potter shaping mound of clay Seeks wabi-sabi, so they say Outnumbered by the many foe Kung Fu's the only way to go The Koan reaches eager ears Throws a wrench into the gears Like pyramids, real power now Though no one knows exactly how An author knows this very well: Slipped in the title, book will sell That certain something thought of when You don't know what to call it: Zen
Just for fun, search “Zen and the Art of” and see all the various suggestions offered by your search engine. (I recommend DuckDuckGo as a privacy oriented search alternative to the big guys. I do not use Google anymore.) Turns out that Robert Pirsig was riffing on another book’s title when he published Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: which was Zen in the Art of Archery, by German philosophy professor Eugen Herrigel, published in 1948.
Something striking to me about Western culture is that it’s thoroughly grounded in materialist orthodoxy but is endlessly fascinated with the ‘Mysteries of the East’ like Zen and martial arts. Everybody doesn’t like something, but nobody doesn’t like Kung Fu.
The Ballad of Knee-jerk Holler
America is a cop show That started way back when A slave took off and got away And they fetched him back again America is a sitcom Where life is neatly framed The laughs are prerecorded And the foil neatly blamed America is a racket A scheme that is sublime It lets the rich stay filthy rich On someone else's dime America is an advert Tells you how to spend the buck You worked so hard to pocket At that job you got by luck America is that famous city Shining on a hill That once belonged to someone else The ones we had to kill America is a voter Empowered to enthrone The one who keeps the system rigged Who tosses you the bone America is a grifter Who lied his way to power That many still support him Is a situation dour America is a system Designed to self-correct It barely pulled it off this time It very nearly wrecked America is a dreamer Full of hope and faith and cheer Who takes his knocks and gets back up To face another year