Saturday, September 30, 2006

Getting Filthy, Coming Clean


At long last, a trip to secret beach.

That little bulldog bossed around the entire ocean. All the birds, the dead sea lion, the rocks, the grains of sand, the piles of seaweed, the long whips of bull kelp, the stately line of pelicans, the very sun in the sky.


There was gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments.


The Monk brought order and serenity.


Afterwards, we all bathed and took long afternoon naps.


If there is a way to be happier, I have not found it.


My wish for you today is to feel the same wild joy and contentment and to run and play until your entire being is exhausted and delirious and then to get into a warm daytime bed with someone you love and snuggle up in it and fall asleep listening to the sound of them breathing in your arms...



Friday, September 29, 2006

Fay's Bad Day


Here comes the weekend.




Political systems rise and fall. Communities, governments, countries, cultures. Like human lives, they have an arc. Like human lives, too, when you are in the middle of it you can't fathom the transient nature of the phenomenon. It's not your fault. You don't know any better.

What you have to do is kind of look around. See the evidence of death and decay all around you. Look into the past, at all those people and cultures and powerful kings and rulers who are no longer with us.

That will be our fate, too.


Try to live with that knowledge right there in front of you without blinking. My experiment today is to try to keep the fact of my inescapable death held out in my own two hands. And to observe how that changes my behavior.


I think I'll have cookies for breakfast for starters.


This morning the monk tells me that I need to pay attention and be open for the possibility that a dead man is going to be coming to me in my dreams. I have unfinished business with him, and if he needs me to do anything the Monk says that he'll appear in my dreams and tell me what I have to do so he can move on to his next rebirth.

Without this unfinished business weighing him down. Trapping him in a bad life.


Okay, then.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What Ed Saw


Our scary monsters.

They love to pin us against the wall,
make a lot of noise.



Spittle in the corners of their mouths.

Eyes aflame.


Lately I struggle and struggle against my own self. Wrestle with the demons of my own creating. Pinned to the ground and smote on the hip, I limp away in the mornings bruised and battered. I conjure them up to do battle, I guess. I crave peace and bliss in my bones, but I thrash and holler in the night like my bed's on fire.

The Monk says our repetitive thoughts trap us. What we imagine, what we say to ourselves in our constant running commentary, has a warping influence on reality. We're like busy little weavers, making the cloth of our lives. Present, past, and future.

There is something to this.


If I could just unclench my hands for a few hours.


But there he is again, every time I open the door.


Waving his arms over his head.

"C'mon, you big baby. Let's see whatcha got."


I should go back inside. Shut the door.

I should do a lot of things.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Keep Out


You want a specific item to begin with.
The table against the wall in a slanted box of light.
Motes of dust in the air. Their erratic

Brownian motion.

Call it that for want of a name.
Why isn't there a letter
on the table.

She didn't write one.

Go to the blackboard and begin erasing.
Gone is the table, the slant of gold light,
the motes of dust.

Begin again.
This time with a scythe,
a long blade of steel on a wooden pole,
curved to fit the work.
Listen to the sound it makes cutting through
the tall grass.

The sigh of the grass as it falls.

After a while you find yourself
standing by the well
with a dipperful of water.
You taste the darkness of the well
and the clean bite of the water
and the hint of moss and moonlight.

You press your hands to your back
to soothe the ache there.
What is moving in the woods behind you.
A scrape and rustle in the underbrush.

Are you a bear. Are you a mule deer. A man
with a rifle.

High up the sky is going yellow to purple.
You think of a woman you once knew.
Her dark hair like a waterfall of night sky
as it fell on her pale skin when she brushed it
of an evening.

If you had a hammer
you would know
what to do with your hands
but as it is
you just stand there.

Are you a bear. Are you a mule deer.
A dark shape in the woods.
Are you standing by the well.
Can you taste the moonlight in the well water.

You could bear the loneliness better
if you had a name for the things of this world.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Running From It


It's my friday!


The Monk is back with us for a couple of weeks. We look forward to his visits each year like kids eager for Christmas.
He brings such a lot with him.

Like The Cat in The Hat did...

Yolie and I are like the boy and the girl in the story. We go along, but we're a little out of our element. Even though it's our home he's doing his magic in...Oh, but the fun we have!

Everything goes through the Monk's filter- each word, gesture, televsion show and commercial, news story, pet activity, etc. He changes the way we see nearly everything. He's relentless, but also easygoing. He says outrageous things, then laughs at himself. He's an incredible teacher. He really is.


We're going to Em's school this weekend for a visit. From what we've heard from her and her advisor, she's doing well so far.

Keeping our fingers crossed....


Listen, I wanted to say thanks for coming around. I'm not much of a host, but I really am glad for the company.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Heart Girl


I love my wife.


Independent. Soulful. Strong. What she offers is not
always the easy or fun path, but the one with heart.

The only one worth following...


Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Scissor God


The wheels of the world spin but The Scissor God
keeps her eyes closed to them. With one hand
she cuts the ties that bind, with the other
she snips off the loose ends.

She's at the still center
of a dangerous maelstrom; there's no hope
of escape.

You'll be undone, she'll see
to it.


Perhaps the man is riding towards a dark wood on a pale horse.
Or the pale man is riding towards the woods on a dark horse.
Perhaps the wind has taken his hat and tossed it
into the underbrush.

What is the man saying?

The wind takes his words right out of his mouth.

Soon it will rain.


In the cabin in the heart of the forest
the Scissor God stands over a plain table and weeps
as she cuts the arms and legs off
an army of paper dolls.

Next she does the little heads.



Near the sinuous river a snake winds his way
through the damp leaves and dissapears into a hole
under a tree root. High in the tree a crow tilts its head
and refolds its wings. Takes two steps to the side.



In her bed the girl listens to the branches of the oak tree
scrape at her window. She pulls the covers up tight under her chin.
Shadows pulse and writhe and she knows there is something
on the other side of her door.

She keeps her eyes shut.


Far off shore an old man in a dory leans into his work,
his hands clamped like steel around the oars.
The seams are split and dark water
slowly fills the boat.

A muscle in the man's jaw stands out like a braided rope.
His eyes are as cold as the sea.

He grunts with each pull and the sound he makes
carries out over the water.


Somewhere in the woods a lone horse stands in a clearing,
blowing hard, his rider nowhere to be seen.


In the cabin the only sound is the snip-snip of sharp steel
as the Scissor God goes to town. When she's finished,
she'll pick up her needle and thread.

She makes something new from the pieces.


Friday, September 15, 2006

I Am Not Your Executioner


The first dead man I saw was covered in sand.

Fine grains of sand clung to the clouded surface
of his eyes. His purple lips dusted with sand,
his mouth packed with it. He had drowned and
his body tossed around in the surf for a long time
before we got it out.

I tugged on his wet clothing.
I held his soggy wallet in my cold hands
and picked through it for a driver's licence;
a name and a face to put with
the dead guy in the yellow bag.

I rolled him over and over again.
I patted his shoulder.

Later, on the autopsy table, I washed his body.
Sand skittered down the stainless steel
and went down the drain hole.

Little ribbons of blood swirled from the mouths
of the wounds on his face and hands.
Like snakes that evaporated in the water, like
songs his body couldn't stop singing.

He stared, but not at us. Something else
held his attention.

His purple fingers were hard as iron.


I remember plenty of times being in the living room
of some house. Everybody crying, a stunned
kind of silence.

Some piece of news I had brought to them,
a raw deal delivery service.

"Okay, everybody who's son is still alive, stand up.

Not you, lady. You can sit down."


It isn't all bad.

There's a kind of tenderness. A place
for something maybe approaching love.

This guy I work with said we're angry;
we hate all these human beings...

He said we got love, we just don't got
a way to say it...


I remember another guy I pulled out of the water.
I beat him until my hands bled, he
was crying the whole time.

Begging me to stop.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Petit Dejuner on the Picnic Grounds of the Last Castle


Off for a week.


When I get back, everything will be perfect.

"I'm a winner, I can feel it...."