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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Change = Growth

Change Is Life
Growth Is Optional
Reads the poster
On the wall
Of my hotel room
With which I really
Feel need to take issue
Because nowadays it seems
Growth is not optional
In the least at least not
For those of us
With a mind and will
To survive

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Afternoon Weeding

This afternoon
In the backyard
Pulling at weeds
In more ways than one
I said to myself
In its perennial bounty 
This crabgrass is spreading
Like a gospel that  
Can't be overstated enough
As we partake of a story
Not fixated upon
Each individual’s demise
As an end in itself
But from the roots
A process unfolds
Continuous in its glory
Even if now I must
Address myself
To the annoyance
Of weeding 
On my hands and knees
Across the entire lawn


Saturday, October 20, 2012

On the Tourist Bus Ride

"We are all here on this planet as tourists. None of us can live here forever." -- So says His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here's a short poem I wrote that takes this tourist metaphor in a slightly different direction.

Wouldn't it be funny
If the business end
Of our journey
Through life and death
Really was arranged
Like a hop on hop off
Tourist bus for which
One ticket purchased would
Beget successive rides
Much the same way
We progress from
Dream to waking state
In similar fashion with
Each nap or lifetime
Providing further occasion
To disembark before
It's time to move on 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lines Written on the Western Bank

Somehow we arrive
At the intersection
Of what we can afford
And what we dream
If we’re lucky that's where
We drive a spade
Deep into the loam

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Writer's Life

I wrote this poem this afternoon in response to an email I had received several months earlier from Shambhala Press.

The Writer's Life

It's just not enough
Being a writer today
To be blessed with
A distinctive voice
Because the way
This industry
Has been trending
For a couple years now
You also need
An identifiable brand
Like Tolstoy
or Jacquelyn Susann
In order to stand out
And be heard

And now comes
This entirely new notion
I recently heard
From Shambhala Press
In their response
To the submission of my
Monkey King verse
Which they claimed to admire
Oh so very much
Yet declined to publish
At this time due to my lack
Of a suitable platform
Whatever the hell
That means

And the more
I thought about it
The more it bothered me
I mean the platforms
I best know about
Were those ascended
By the Great Buddha himself
And surely that's not what
Those savants on Mass Avenue
Were suggesting I needed
In order for my title
To get added
To their front list --
An overly daunting
Requirement for authorship
So it seemed

If I had
Any such platform
Why need I bother
With the likes of them
Or any other
Old school publisher

And then
As I further
Pondered these things
I thought to myself
Fuck it
Who needs
Any of them
An author today
Must be the complete package
Just as the best man toasted
The bride at his friend's wedding
Wrap it up!

Now it's time to sell
As best you can 
How else make the most
Of the times that we live in
An era when everyone
Must not only create
But promote as we do

This Is the Main Event

I want to reassure you
Few loyal readers
Of my personal blog
And myself too
That this really is
The main event
In the three ring circus

And I promise to continue
Announcing all major breaking
News items here first
With respect to my own
Life and Times
No matter how much
It otherwise seems

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lullaby Composed on East 22nd

By an empty lot
On East 22nd Street
And Third Avenue
The jackhammers were
Pounding away well after
Nine o'clock tonight
As I walked by

And the sign proclaimed
It was a Toll Brothers
City Living concept
Not knowing exactly 
What that means

And I thought
To myself
Can there
Be anything
More preposterous
Than this bunch of
Idiot brothers
Who overbuilt the
Suburbs damn near
The point of extinction
Showing up here
In my own back yard
And setting up shop

God Bless you
Mayor Bloomberg
And a very good night indeed
Though quiet in the least
It very well may not be

A Further Thought on My Way Home

How the vagaries
Of experience
May be tweeted
Or transmuted into
A blog item
Or further refined
Into a poem

So as I wandered
Down the broad
Avenue of Self Regard
This afternoon
I found myself
Thinking about
My prior blog
Posting today

Realizing there is
But a fine point
Of difference between the
Likely outcomes of living
With a heart open too widely
As with eyes so tightly shut
Because the Holy Fool
However winsome
Is forever ready to transform
Him or herself
Into an an utter ass

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Thought I Had Walking East on 25th Street

So the polarities
Change once again
In a highly predictable
And ridiculous fashion

Now you have to brace yourself
For the inevitable backlash
You don't know when
But you know surely
It's going to come

Monday, October 15, 2012

To the Future Imperfect

--> -->
The Internet is
The most fluid of mediums
Forgiving and
Like our collective
Memory itself

How quickly it jumps
Off topic as my sight
Alights on the lady
Sitting next to me
While I’m sipping
Coffee here in the Pret 
On West 29th

And how she reminds me
Of myself this dour matron 
Of the hour as she 
Eagerly brushes her cheeks
With rouge and puckers her lips
To meet an upcoming
Stick of gloss
Always so hopeful            
For the scent of some
Life changing romance
Standing in the wings it seems  
Even though we both ought to know
Much better than that by now

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Slightly Longer Version of A Short Poem About Poetry

I wrote the first few stanzas of this poem a few days ago.  You can read the prior version as the immediately preceding entry on my blog.  And I just couldn't leave well enough alone.  This afternoon I added a few more stanzas as you'll see below, for better or worse I have no idea... 

It's not so much
A matter of trochees
Or synedoche
Not that they're

But my primary
Concern is how a poem
Sounds when it falls
Upon the inner ear
Whether composed
While walking the dogs
Around the block
Or at home alone
With Artie Shaw
In the background

For me
Words unspoken
By the breath
Carry the purest
Possible sound
That can be best
Understood only after
Writing them down

And the task for
Any true poet
Remains ever
The same --
To capture and
Apply simple truths
Across the broadest
Possible frontier

As one or two
Will almost always suffice
To preoccupy even
The most aesthetically
Afflicted human spirit
Whether it’s a great big
Bearded Literatus
Like Whitman
Or a sickly neurasthenic
Like Proust