As the last
of the wine glasses
is put back on the shelf
the Brut recorked
and the dishes set
in the tray to dry
we take a slow walk
after the meal
hoping the arrabiatta sauce
will be less angry,
the pasta less weighty,
when we arrive
back home to the sofa
and the purring cat
distracting us from
the beckoning of the bed.
Between now and eventually lies all of history. We are unable to see it
though it lies in our field of vision. That’s the problem, we only know
how to look backward. We are barely able to see where we are. It isn’t
that we don’t want to be here, merely that here is difficult to see, for
we have a tendency to block our vision. Imagine a map with an X or other
marker saying “You are Here.” Yet seeing that we know we are not there for
in that instant we will look down and see where we truly are. But the better
statement to the “you are here” sign is not to call it wrong, but rather
to simply ask it, how did you know. It will answer, your visit was history
lying between my now and my eventually.
This poem was recently published in the first issue of a new journal, Punt Volat. You can find it here:
Early this afternoon, a Kenworth
semi pulling a 53-foot trailer
rolled down Nebraska route 92
and entered the limits of Broken Bow.
The importance of this event,
while not yet obvious, will, I
promise, become so soon enough
if you only remain patient.
As this was happening, rockets
launched from Gaza rained down
on Israel, and quickly the IDF jets
responded, killing 19, more
than half of those civilians according
to Palestinian authorities, but no one
was terribly surprised, as it had
became a question of when not if.
Peace is, we have learned, that
Holy Grail, denied to those who want it
but will not sacrifice themselves
or concede egos to try to attain it.
The semi pulled in behind the Dollar
General on South E Street, too late
to offload, and the driver walked
over to the Bonfire Grill for a beer.
Morning slowly encroaches
on your dreams, eroding
images despite your tightening grasp.
Clear lines blur, become hazy
and dissipate bleached
by the first light creeping
around the shades.
The dreams do not care
for they will arise again
when they choose
and this is for them
a mere inconvenience.
You are the loser here
for the linear mindstring
once cut never reties
with simplicity and something
is always lost in the tying.
Approach the master
sitting on his seat.
The fool will seek answers
having slept through the lesson
but the wise student will bow
silently and retreat
having learned all there is
and knowing absolutely nothing.
A reflection on Case 44 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo (The True Dharma Mind)
Like most you believe that
if it is worth remembering you will,
that memory is keyed to some measure
of value and if you forget that value
had diminished without your noticing.
You accept this as a sort of gospel truth
for you cannot recall that you once
rejected this argument out of hand,
for that has slipped way from memory
and lies valueless and withering
on the synaptic scrap heap.
You are certain you had a childhood
but just as certain you were thoughtless
until age three when life came rushing
in remarkable fits and starts
bridged by chasms of nothing
though you fear that some memories
may be slipping into the abyss even
as you deny that possibility.