Kumbaya, You Feckless Dreamers

The Ballad of Lucky Downturn

I’m holding up for now, I guess
and thanks for asking, mac
I’m holding out for better times
to get back on the track
I’m holding to the vain idea
I haven’t lost the knack
I’m holding tight the napkin
with her number on the back

I’m holding high my cocky head
a bedroll and a sack
I’m holding out for luck again
the kind I usually lack
I’m holding one short piece of rope
and hoping for some slack
I’m holding hands with someone
in a memory way, way back

I’m holding off on paying bills
those credit cards can wait
I’m holding off on voting for
your favorite candidate
I’m holding in a pattern
miles above the boarding gate
I’m holding you so tightly
hell or heaven, they can wait

I’m holding this one truth to be
self evident, you know
I’m holding it for now because
tomorrow it may go
I’m holding up a toast to all
the high as well as low
I’m holding in a swollen heart
my love, and let it flow

Kumbaya, you feckless dreamers
with your carefree, fickle ways
Kumbaya, you dizzy schemers
in the dust of sunny days

Subterranean TP Blues

The toilet paper aisle is void
of anything to buy

The hoarders came like locusts
and we had to wonder why

But now we see the auctions up
on eBay rising fast

I’m down to one thin precious square
I’ll have to make it last

Stay well everyone, and for now, stay put.

Signed: Quarantined in Galveston

Book Spine Poetry

unbroken
fasting, feasting
to let a hundred summers
play it by ear
until I find you

eve
after the apple
the world at night
the way of all flesh
now and then
in such dark places
paradise burning

The Incomparable Nāgārjuna

“The mind is a mere label, and it is nothing other than a label. Recognise awareness as a mere label. Moreover, a label has no intrinsic nature. The Jinas do not find it inside, nor outside, nor in-between those two. Thus, the mind is of the nature of an apparition, and the nature of the mind does not exist as any type of colour or shape, as something apprehended or as an apprehender, as a man, a woman, or a neuter, and so forth. In short, the Buddhas have not seen it and they will not see it; they accurately see it as having the nature of being without an intrinsic nature.”

— Nāgārjuna

via Gary Wong’s Buddhist Quote for the Day

Love at First Sight

One brief clash with a batted lash
And in that blindered, lossless moment did I pawn
Everything to be with you: so how do you do?

And under this spell, we do so remain
For the snap of a finger, then slip and away
Before the vows can have their say

A lusty panache, drawn to eyes, and ass
I will again, and soon, give my heart away
In a peerless fraction of the live-long day

Yours truly, P.S.
My head once more is turned
To flirt is divine, is what I’ve learned

Fly By Night

A housefly caught
in the bedroom buzzes
between the two lamps, back

And forth, the cat
watching: fly has no clue
where it is, how
it got here.

Come morning, up
and out: I will buzz
around among the lamps
of my world, the cat
still watching.


photo by me, 2014

Unseemly

Words mean what I seem to think
So I insist that’s what they mean

And I seem to think that you think you know
Upon which page we think we’ve been

By turns we’ve come to disagree
At what is true and what is scheme

Now don’t let’s come to blows my friend
We’re likely in some pedant’s dream

Temping

A short fiction of mine called Temping, is included in Crack the Spine’s Issue no. 257. Thanks to publisher Kerri Farrell Foley and her staff for selecting this piece. A synopsis might look like:

“A talkative homeless man on the bus rambles on, delivering a sort of fever-dream term paper about the burdens of a life structured by time, his philosophical insights into such a dilemma, and his effective status as an outlaw due to his contraordinary behaviors and being without means or property.”

The Tao is None of Your Business

Every moment is bundled
with a multitude of beginnings
and endings and we feel we’re right
in the middle of it.

But this locale, this fixation
is penciled in with a wink
and cannot be held, numbered
ordered, kept or used.

Gathered up, possessions
summon the negations, come
then clap, the knowns disperse
like startled pigeons.

Who can make way in all of this
without faith or handholds
when enlightenment is the activity
of no one in particular?

A tricky business
this name-dropping the Buddha.