Tuesday, October 1, 2019


1. I Can Listen. You Can Wait.

A few weeks ago, high up
By a creek in the aspens
In a place I’d never been

(Like any place, but more so),
I was reading and thinking
This weather can’t last.

The high-country foliage,
Barely three months green,
Had that look on it,

About to flare and perish.
It was September,
Summer functionally done,

But we hung on together
For hours, small rains, large thunder.

2. Characteristic Inclinations

What saddens me about all
Those fine diagnosticians
Among the ancients,

From the Buddha to Zhuangzi,
Is how, after laying waste
To common aspirations,

They then lead one to believe
That in perceiving
Delusions one becomes free,

Affirming some things as right
And others as wrong, telling
Tales of consummate beings,

Inviting aspiration,
That sickness, to sneak back in.

3. I Am a Different Ballgame

The mind has never once died.
The mind is just the moment.
The timely is in the mind.
Spring is always in the mind.

This season springs from the mind.
This emerges in the mind.
The mind is nothing but this.

This is difficult
But not for the mind.
There’s no such time as the mind.

The two-footed often set
Off on the wrong foot.
The one-footed don't.

4. Dreams Are Not Episodes

Dreams are emotions.
The poet of winter dusk
Watches from behind a screen.
The ghost forest on the cliffs
Encircling Yankee Meadows
Reminds itself with thunder
How lightning brought it to this.

Wake up with your heart pounding.
Where is your philosophy?
Where did you set your reading
Glasses, your science, your God?
Waking life you’ve organized,
With help from ghosts, as stories.
But dreams are not episodes.

5. Never Mind

The mountains come back to mind,
Like alumni to the poem.
Yes, mind is another name

For the poem, as is soul, ghost,
Parasite. This one,
For instance, hooks in your flesh,

And releases its mountains,
Its aspens and pines, its creeks,
Its mutant variations

Of old ghost philosophies.
Here’s an angel, a shy one,
Hiding in these words, the trees,

Mouthing thoughts not thoughts as such.
Nothing must cause nothing much.

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