The Real Deal

And—I'll build you pictures
of buildings and houses 
made from pictures of concrete
and lumber and steel

With pictures of landscapes
and driveways and basements
and pictures of neighbors
to round out the deal

I can picture a dog
and a fence and a lawn
some kids playing tag
for that down home appeal 

And—I'll sell you these pictures
for pictures of money
then you'll own an estate
you can picture as real

The very first entry in Merriam-Webster’s definition for the word real is: “having objective independent existence.” Most of the other definitions have to do with authenticity as in ‘not fake or fraudulent,’ or variations to cover real property, or real income, and so on. But the meat of the subject has most to do with, ‘occurring or existing in actuality,‘ and herein lies my minor obsession. Our experience in the world is entirely subjective and all notions of objects occurring or existing in actuality is by way of the great and mighty presumption that they actually do. This is the crux of all the sciences and philosophies, not to mention our everyday experience of just being here. Things being as they are, we really have no choice, do we?

Science tells us that things are made up of atoms and atoms are made up of 99.9% empty space(1). Rectify that when you stub your toe in the dark on the way to the toilet. Things made up of mostly space ramming into other things judged empty by the same measure, but somehow result in calamity. Does this sound right to you? I’d put on my Karen hat and demand to see the manager, except there isn’t one. Okay, God. But when subpoenaed to testify, God will have to say under oath that He didn’t do it. You did. It gets more infuriating the more you think about it.

So if things aren’t justifiably called real, then what do we call them. Unreal? Of course not!(2) That makes no sense whatsoever. It is understandable though that we tend to plaster over these paradoxicalities with word play. What’s a mother to do?


(1) What’s worse is that the .1% of an atom that isn’t empty space is not solid stuff either, nor does it behave in ways that make sense in terms of everyday physics. I don’t know how physicists don’t end up in padded cells. I am grateful for the work they do though.

(2) I just used another from my lifetime limit of exclamation points.

Facial Recognition

I have grown into this face
the way I walk into rooms:
scratching my head and wondering
"What did I come in here for?"

The kind of recognition
that I find in mirrors is
like a story, recrafted each time
to fit a mood or expectation

The eyes locate themselves
on the face (where eyes expect
to find eyes) and within them
that detailed exposé
—a state of being, the real
meanings in all the sunken ships
that set sail from our parted lips

If a trace of us remains
in the bones we leave behind
then let the carbon elements
write their epigrams into the fossils
while evolution selects for
a deeper kind of vision

Because it's not me that
I really want to see
but the essence of the who
in you, and you, and you
and for this, the mirror
simply will not do


I am halted in my tracks
by the vacancy of its eye socket

The gift of flight
ought to have served it better
but nothing comes and goes
like bodies and dust

In terms of yoga
the ad hoc cemetery becomes
the mandala of the deity
whose likeness in all things
appears in the absence 
of our unwieldy projections

Now fingering beads on a mala
like counting bones at a dig
and nothing comes and goes
like tallied digits

sol wa dep


Photo (CC BY-SA) 2021. A decaying unidentified bird’s head.


So they say it escaped from a lab
Who cares 'cause I still got my jab
There's no need to ask
I will still wear a mask
As I flee the crime scene in a cab

The Heavens Cleave

Birds, they see everything
        this is why the angels have their wings
        where the heavens cleave
        to subtract us, and why
        pillows are filled with feathers
        so to break the fall

Like a church's vaulted ceilings
        they fly, tracing arches
        wedding the heights to the motions
        of our base arguments
        in grounded, plodding tethers
        as we look everywhere but up
        and wonder, 'is this all?'

(May 11, 2021: taking a 2 week pause from social media. Peace and happiness!)

Photo (CC BY-SA) 2021, Blue Grosbeak with Prisma filter.

Days of Future Path

The future killed my parents
And will probably kill yours too
It steals your wealth and rots your teeth
Wears out your coat and shoe

The future sometimes seems so bright
So promising and true
You try so hard to please it
What else is there to do

The path well worn that seems to work
For more than just a few
It is the future's favorite trap
Line up and join the queue

A fellow blazes his own path
In search of something new
And finds the future waiting there
He wonders how it knew

The future killed our parents
And theirs before them too
And when you think it's had enough
It finally comes for you

Photo (CC) 2021 : Have a nice day! 🙂