Check

Winning Texas Hold’em against robots
with imaginary money is no substitute
for a full and productive youth

But the days are as long as
as a life is short, and the cards
gaze up at you from your hands

See right through that poker face
and catch you thinking of something else

The Economy and Me

It’s a burden we all lug around, yet
imaginary so it’s weightless, and held
oh so fast, so it fetters and constrains.

It is universally agreed upon as necessary
by those who control it, and by those who can find
no alternative but to participate in it.

Unspeakably cruel to those who cannot
or will not apply themselves to its rule.

It is almost tangible like anticipation
like the footed ground of our paths, or
the open expanse of our atmosphere.

Floating omnipresent in the air
between the hand that wins bread and
the guarded, vaulted bakery.

It grinds away at the bottom
where the toil in steerage trickles up
as privilege to the luxury suites above.

And life itself is unimaginable
without it, indeed, how would we buy
how could we pay, or without it, even be?

And thus, on we sail
from sea to shining sea.

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

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.