Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A sponge to wipe away the past

A rose to greet the future,
And a kiss for now.

--A message wrapped in a little bacio, a chocolate kiss Italian style.


Must be one of the hardest attachments
to overcome.
O, the mind's a slippery one there.

"Everytime I think of him,
I feel I'm being raped again,"
A number of students have written
in their papers.

So now she's victimizing herself
years after it happened.

But who can tell her that?
How can it be told?

There is nothing more noble than a greenhorn

...who sees with fresh eyes what the
Old hand takes for granted,
Is a quote I believe Walt Whitman said
Tho I could be wrong.

I've done martial arts
since I was 7
And I've meditated
since I was 13


How refreshing it is
to go into a new class
and be treated like an idiot.

Is it really hard not to get upset?

When I found an old student had written
That I "prove the invalidity of natural selection"

Yes, I looked back at old comments on
From four years ago,
And retorts swirled through my head
For about a day.

Now wasn't that a dainty dish
to feed into my mind?

I felt a brief respite

At the dentist today,
Noticing my clenched fists
And arched back,
When she asked, "Does that hurt?"
And I thought,
Are these my teeth hurting?

In supernova explosions,
Calcium is formed from the reaction of carbon
With various numbers of alpha particles.

So what did I have to complain about?

They say

the emptiness of loss opens us up
for new opportunities.

Well sure,
New things must come.

Without all those commitments,
We're freer.


And in that "still"-ness,
That attachment to the loss,
Lies all our sweet
sweet suffering.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I keep looking forward

To the day
When my debts are paid off
And the kids are self-sufficient
And I've got some job security.

The house keeps breaking down
And the kids are screaming
And debts are mounting.

So much to enjoy

The Runaway Bestseller

"Guess it couldn't handle the pressure,"
My sister told me with a laugh,
As we sat watching TV together one afternoon,
With nothing better to do
Than draw mustaches on the faces in the TV Guide,
And be together.

Inevitable disappointments

There is a point
In some Buddhists services
I've sat through
When they mention this.

The first time I heard it, I felt relief:
Oh, you mean I'm not the only one?

Back in College

I would find something at hand--
A bicycle, a paperclip, or a friend,
And say,
"If I call this the name we know it as,
I deny its eternal qualities.
Yet if I do not call it by that name,
I deny its presence here and now..."

At this point, I would be met with
Raised eyebrows, and I'd ask:
"What then, shall we call it?"

Needless to say, I wasn't winning popularity contests.

Of Course

Everything is what we say it is
But it's also something more:
Timeless, unknowable, ineffable.

That's not to say
We shouldn't use the names we have
Or the adjectives to describe them.

But there's always more.

Like the space between the inbreath and the outbreath--
The gap.

Fall into the gap.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Easy Way

I have this old karate video
That I took for my class
In 1992
That I still work out to
And I've watched
For 15 years
How the students
Grunt and strain
With forced energy.

I breath, smiling,
Throwing faster and harder punches,

Then go back to my computer
To try to write,
And fester and pick and sigh
And make another cup of tea,
Write another email.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Nothingness is a GOOD thing

Two false alarms:

Yesterday a language exam of my
2-year-old son
he's perfectly normal,
Even bouncy and contented!

And today,
on coming home from the grocery,
We smelled rotten eggs,
Called the Gas Company
And waited,
Careful not to turn anything on or off
or open the refrigerator.
The man came from the Gas Company
(A nice guy named John--I always seem to have great relations with folks from the gas company. I swear I just love the gas company. Perhaps it's knowing they could blow us all up that makes them so friendly.)
Checked downstairs and up.
Even poked the ground some.
But the only gas he noted was the
monoxide when I pulled the car out.
I thanked him and apologized,
and he patted me on the back and said it was all right.

It was more than all right.
It was nothing!

Without murder or martyrdom

Clifford Geertz said,
In summing up what was good about about his
Truly wondrous career.

It is a battlefield
And we often conflict
But if we can continue
In the midst of that
In peace...

Like Geertz,
Maybe we can help people realize
the meaning

of a wink.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How long can u wait?

In five minutes,
Another cigarette
Another drink
Another fix

Five hours?
Five months?
Five years?

Just keep waiting
Feel the waiting
Ah yes, waiting...

And if you die without
Or fixing

You'll have won.
Won't that be nice?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Finally, we can all rest easier

After so many books have been written on the subject,
We finally know the "subject"
of the Mona Lisa.

Her name was Lisa del Giocondo.
But Italians always knew that,
Calling the painting "La Giacondo" (the joyful one).

What difference does it make
That we now have a name?

Will we love her more?


We think belief is so important.
But who is thinking that thought?

Does a wondrous essense of energy
Which just happens to have your name
Need a belief

to justify itself
to understand itself
to know itself

A new idea?

More like a "knew" idea.

It's all been done, but if it's new to you
That's new enough.


Like an evolutionary leap
We can communicate
In the spirit
Of pure spirit.

Why ruin that?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And then?

When the nothing hits
And you're clear
Without any jabbering
Just oooooommmmmmm


What a relief
it is
getting older.

Monday, January 14, 2008


is found through the acceptance

of sadness.

And if the blogosphere were all to blow up today?

What would we miss?

Just because

I won't leave you out of my heart

Doesn't mean

You can't leave me out of yours.

A nice letter of rejection

at least gives you more to feel good about

than a mean one.

Opening up

to the possibility of no response

is a great teaching.

What a sad joy

it is to "other."

Comparing ourselves

to others is like
comparing two grains of sand
or two stars.

what could possibly be

A lullaby for Oceanshaman

In every rain...
some life must fall.

How does one extract oneself

From a huge dung heap?

No one really seems to know.


Always 0 comments.

The world stands agape.

What Profound Joy

Children take in excluding others.

The downcast glances
The tears
The anger

Only add to the buoyant mirth
Of the fantastic celebration.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Enriches the soul.

Like a plow
Enriches the soil.


Wants to be right.


We all are.

All my papers

Came out of the realization
That there is more to the truth
Than what we had thought.

Thank you,


All boils down to this:

I knew it was wrong
But I did it anyways.

What sort of excuse is that?
Karma knows.


I didn't know it was wrong
But I did it anyways.

Karma knows.


Reflects the Tao
Reflected within


To what?
From what?

So much ado
About noble travelers.


Regulating immigration
Is like regulating demography.
If there are pushes and pulls,
They're going to happen
Whether it's legal or not.

Making it illegal
Only criminalizes identities
And makes hypocrites of us all.

Be There

With the emptiness

Feel it
Breath it

Nature doesn't abhor a vacuum
It doesn't abhor anything
It doesn't abhor nothing
It is

Emptiness is there

You run from it
You only find more

Enjoy it

For Shimmerrings:

Could Torture be... Torture?

Like a wind moving through the palms,
Russling the leaves of complacency,
The Director of a funny thing called, "National Intelligence"
Shows symptoms of... what could it be?
When was the last time we actually saw this--this--
Is there a word for it?
Perhaps only a quote could suffice for this utterly mysterious quality:
"If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can't imagine how painful! Whether it's torture by anybody else's definition, for me it would be torture."

What's that?
A faint echo of something learned once?
Something about a golden rule or some such...
Let's check

Ah, there's a candidate.
The director of national intelligence shows a sign of

Alert the presses!
Call for a Congressional Hearing!
When was empathy ever a part of our national intelligence?
Whatever could our national intelligence become
If it shows signs of empathy?

Surely the powers that be
Will take notice
That this dangerous new quality must be sequestered
A virus--like gangs!
And we should take heed
That it never arises again...
for the sake of national intelligence.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Like hearing the surf in a seashell

Thanks to Oceanshaman. This was the first time I've posted a video on a blog! Technology today, whew!

Filling the Unknown with--Nothing!

Let's take whatever it is we don't (can't) know,
And let's fill it up, with say,
Something that we'll really hold people accountable for,
Like, you know, they'll be punished in eternal damnation
For violating the precepts
Of this thing we made up
To fill up what we don't know.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 11, 2008


[big inhale]


in this world
is not meant to last.


like a breath
like a wave
like the passing of the day

is in the taking in
and letting go

The wonderful thing

about nothing is
it's so easy to let go

The wonderful thing about everything is
it's so full of nothing.


Cruise Missiles
Ghetto scenes

Beauty Queens

All too poignant
All too raw.
Such is the burden
Of feeling small.

Just one jump!

Before you go, daddy,
My daughter told me this morning
As I was trying to pull myself away.

She stood at the edge of the mat,
And off she flew
Like the faery of her dreams
Who leads wolves to do good things in all the world,
Seeing how far she might push my pride and annoyance
My hurried joy.

Set in our Ignorance?

How long do we need to overcome racism?
Only as long as a blooming Daffodil needs in April,
to open up to the possibililities of the sun.

Or, should we rather be like the boulder in the lake
And wearing down with the times?

Even the boulder is open to change
Only more slowly.

(thanks to Oceanshaman for the pic!)


Like mine or my wife's
Outliving everybody
Living alone

So why the obsession with a long life?

Who has the time

to sit and wonder at the vastness
exploring the myriad beauty of
being alive?


What was all that industrialism for, anyways?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

With each new post

Another post is gone
off the main page
to the detritus
of thoughts gone by

Will it be recorded for eons
or lost with a cloudburst
shaping hearts and minds
or another grain of sand

Good-bye, sweet little post
I'll never see another like you.
You made me chuckle,
You made me wince
And now I can only meditate
on your

The Unquenchable Thirst

Get to it!
No time to waste!
The business of business is--

It is a service
The people clamor for
Got to get to keep on
Creating that NOTHING!

Eat it, sleep it, dream it,
Cook it, watch it, laugh at it,
Smile, nod your head in that cute way,
Answer the phone with a little perk
Sock it to me!
Have at it!
Two for one!
Without delay!
Nothing (fun)
NOthing (love)

Yes, that's the way.
Don't lose your job.
Don't compromise the integrity.
Don't tell the truth.

A Practicum for Sociologists

Describe a rock
that fits in the hand
in all its minute detail
In 500 pages, no less.

Then we can talk about writing a theory of society.

Capital Hillary

Ironing the shirts
Welling up with tears
Trying to be likable

How very manly of her.

Let's comment on the manliness of rest of the field.
Romney's little swagger
McCain's overcompensations
Huckabee's narrow shoulders

but how do we know what gender they are
aside from their performances
and our half-baked interpretations?


Ads. TV. Movies. Sports. Yahoo. People and all their "interests." Blogs. Heroes. Religions. Fashion. Trends. Opinions. Mindlessness. Monkeymind. Mindmongering. No mind. Never mind. Endless disappointment. Ceaseless fetishizing. Always more.


What else?

An alternative?

What's that?

But there's nothing else!

How could what I've spent so much time trying frantically to escape be exactly what I desire most? Well let me sit with it a while and see what happens...

That wasn't so bad. But now all the [Ads. TV. Movies. Sports. Yahoo. People and all their "interests." Blogs. Heroes. Religions. Fashion. Trends. Opinions. Mindlessness. Monkeymind. Mindmongering. No mind. Never mind. Endless disappointment. Ceaseless fetishizing. Always more.] is missing. I see there's nothing there! So there was NOTHING all along. So what was I running from? What was I avoiding?

Was it the love of God?

Was it my own potential?

Was it my empathy for others?



Nothing's lost
when life is lived
And even when it's not.
For what has passed is left for books
Or left to be forgot.

Does it really matter
if we win or if we lose?
The man who lives with what he's got
Is better than amused.

He sees the world is bound unto
A sky that flies away,
Just as the sea becomes a song
And song becomes the day.

So we too shall pass unto
The night, a mist, a dream.
Someday we too shall be forgot,
Our lives as in a stream
We pass
We fail
We love
We seem.

I wrote this in high school, and it keeps coming back to me,
a rhythm that was planted in my brain.

Being with Others

Is always a risk
Is sometimes unexpected
May be disappointing.

Is integral for everything.

Don't cut off.

Loving kindness for Osama bin Laden
And George Bush.


Judge and be judged!
Judge the judge!
In the sludge of judging let the sludge judge!

Serious consequences!
What could that be?
Life in the flickering,
Falling and free.

The Endless Quest for Nothing

An ad
Placed for $10,000
Of a woman lounging on an exotic beach
Excites a booking
For $3,500 and change
For a flight
And resort,
Paying for food and drinks and activities
Still running
Looking out of the corner of the eye
for that woman
on the lounge chair.

A thought gently tugs:

Why buy nothing
When it is free?


My good friend.
How are you today?
What's that?
You haven't had enough yet?
How shall I fill you?
I cannot fill you?
What's to be done then?

Oh, good friend, let me embrace you.
Shall we be partners?

There, is that better?

Thanks for the nudging.
I'm quite all right now.

Who could put a price on a little box of nothing?

Affectionate as a pet rock.
What limitless possibilities!
Not binding, not teaching.
No yoga, no dancing, no diet, no tea.
No degree, no ads, no sessions, no expectations.
The sound of silence indeed!
What is that worth to you?
Is it worth your whole soul
for the universe?


Never fading.
Resolute as the gong's strike.
Always now.

So much nothing!

How can we ever get enough?

How is this nothing?

Is it good nothing? Has it saved anyone? Is it enlightened? Is it busy enough? Is it empty enough? Is it beginning enough? Is it experienced enough?

Is it enough? Have you had enough of this nothing?

Feel free to go on to another nothing.
And come back.
Or not.

Released into the empty stream.

No Escape

Nothing and everything
Always here.
In the doing
And not doing
The becoming and the undoing

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Absolute and the Relative

In sociology, my field, we find a stiff stand-off between the absolutists and the relativists. Positivist, quantitative researchers, who dominate the field, are looking for absolutist answers, while the marginalized constructionists and post-modern relativists keep finding more questions. Why must we bicker? Aren't we perfect companions?


Balance is the best of all possible worlds.

It defines the possible world.

It makes the world possible.

Hello Blog-o-shere

I dream of nothing.
Nothing as practice.

Opening a storefront business on a busy promenade, with a sign, white on white:
Mental Enemas.

And inside, on a bare wood floor, with bare walls,
I would sit
Before the plate-glass window
Advertising nothing
Selling nothing
Perhaps in home-spun cloth.

Do I hear from any investors?