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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 ...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Something Guan Yin Hinted at Last Night

It is a kind of
Living death
Our attachment
To reality
So steadfast
We cast our lot
But the spirit
Knows otherwise
And strains to remind us
From time to time
Opening the window
Of the Oversoul
And letting in old
Familiar voices
From the streets

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sidewalk Selfie

A selfie can be a poem as well as a photo.  To qualify in this new sub-genre the poem must be composed on the fly, as it were, spontaneously in the street, and whenever possible, accompanied by some sort of visual record of the event.

 *  *  *  *  *

Shoulder set back
As if tacking windward
Central Parking System
Be damned here I am
Yet again sailing
Down the block and
Blogging about how my
Central nervous system keeps
Firing with abandon
Wide open and alert
Gliding along as if under 
Kerouac's command or
In some other slipstream

*  *  *  *  *

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Selfie Composed in the Barbershop Chair

Indelibly connected
To the visible world
Or else cast adrift
Forever deep into
Meditative space
I float along
In the barbershop chair
A razor close to my face

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Up the Creek Without an iPad

Up the Creek tonight
Without an iPad or pen
Near to hand
All the better that I
May now commit
The sanctity of this evening
To long term storage
Closing my eyes
To see every passing ripple
And crease along the surface
Lodging deep as an icon
Within the innermost ear
Right where the cochlea
Abuts cognitive functioning
To be embedded forever
Like the refrain 
Of a popular song

*  *  *  *  *  *

My friend Peter Rippon visited us earlier this summer and we had a chance to paddle on the Creek just before sunset.  And then later we walked out to the pier on Bay Avenue to watch the moon rise over Shinnecock Bay.  Here is one of Peter's drawings that seems well matched to this particular poem.  By the way, Peter often uses an iPad for sketching, which may also help you better understand the title of the poem.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Poem Written in a Lawn Chair (looking into a garden)

Submissive to everything
Open and alert
This is how Kerouac
Set about composing life
Off and on the road
Debauched as
A bee in the pollen
Of a trumpet rose
With pen for proboscis
He scribbled everywhere
In his secret notebooks
In the midst of discovering
Life’s secret-most forms

And so too I have come
To a point in my 57th year
Where I find my desktop
Littered about with folders
And files in a joyful mess
Overflowing all
Reasonable bounds
And I have hurried but lately
Strived to sketch the flow
Of spirits passing
Outside the doorway
In the streets below
And the shimmers of light
Discernable only to
The innermost I
As they have been cast 
Upon the eyelid’s wall

*  *  *  *  *  *

This poem has a little back story which may worth mentioning. Yesterday my wife sent me an email which really sparked my interest.  It was a list of 30 writing tips put together by Jack Kerouac -- a few essential pointers for composing more compelling hipster prose.   And I found myself strongly agreeing with nearly everything Jack recommended, especially the first five items (set forth below) which in fact inspired me to write the preceding poem.

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
  4. Be in love with yr life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form