Friday, August 6, 2010


Yay, I wrote three more poems today. They are sort of dark though. There is a root cause. For me darkness arises always from some form of selfish and self centered entanglement. Often this leads to a kind of arrogance because I feel in my smaller shaped self that I must know what is going on, or I will risk a fatal misstep. I may engage in my arrogance in one kind of intolerance or another, some form of rudeness. In the poems, the burden of my shortcoming leads to darkness. I was taught that the solution is transparency. So I have said so here.


Perhaps as artists we poets and musicians and all the others who yearn and commit and express, perhaps we see the hidden things that peek out from the crannies of life. Occasionally, the things we see are Holy. More often they are some form of lesser truth. On the other hand, here is another take on things:

"We live in all we seek. The hidden shows up in too-plain sight. It lives captive on the face of the obvious - the people, events, and things of the day - to which we as sophisticated children have long since become oblivious. What a hideout: Holiness lies spread and borne over the surface of time and stuff like color."
- Annie Dillard

I don’t mind that she sees it so differently, though I favor the crannies because of the ubiquitous nature of untamed self centered will. In any case because as Annie says in our sophistication we have forgotten an essential piece because we are too familiar, because of that we shall have to learn other ways to see things. I say it is “peripheral vision”. I see the holy out of the corner of my eye.

But what do I know? If you depend on something I say, I will deny it! :D


This is the time for
clamping shut, saying nothing,
standing on the fifth.
Whatever it is,
I’m as innocent as Hell!
Cicadas or no,
Imps notwithstanding,
Sure, you were changed, but not me!
I didn’t do it!

June 24, 2009 2:01 PM


  1. I think both are true. That life presents so obviously we miss it. And also that crannies hold invaluable treasures that a rare few even look for. Great poem. I loved the center statement. Hell...innocent. I laugh.

    How many years do I have to wait for the dark ones? (rubs hands together in giddy anticipation) The three???? You know me :)

  2. Of course both are true. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. Both are not true too. Metaphors are always temporary and in the moment, though the moment may be a long one. To make them into absolutes is one of the most common of human failings, found world wide and of such disastrous consequence that whole religions like Zen Buddhism have been formed as antidotes. At one point, the followers of Islam became certain that visual metaphors for God were so damaging to the soul that they forbade all attempts to picture God. That is why their mosques may be elaborately designed and decorated but all are free of any representational art.

    Metaphors are not the moon but serve as fingers pointing at the moon. They are not even fingers, since that too is a metaphor.

    So cracks and gaps and washes of color toning the obvious are all attempts to open doors of perception and should be immediately removed the instant they get in the way. If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

    So much for poetry. That cesspool of metaphor may have to be thrown out! It is merely a station on the way.

    How's that for planned obsolescence? Poet?? I deny it!!

  3. You have to have some dark ones in there once in a while, else you can't appreciate the bright ones...

    Also, this is the first time I can recall seeing exclamation points in your work, let alone three. Iiiinteresting! :)

  4. I think there is great truth in what Annie Dillard writes, and I don't think that has to nulify the gaps. Perhaps there are layers and multitudes of expression of the divine, the truth. Perhaps we need to try to shed linear and concise a little more. I think of privation and how we marvel after an absence of food at the gift of food. Too, with love or water or colour or sound. I kinda refer to these things as bookends. When we have bookends, for example, a beginning and an end to a time, we appreciate or recognize the significance of it. Left to time or sound or taste or love everlasting - things lose significance. And so we must live in a state of threat.

    Geez. Is that good?

    I'm not sure what you're denying in your poem. Magic? Nature? Everything? I laugh.

    (Ha, word verification is speakey. Look at me! I am speakeying!)


  5. Joseph, I confess this poem is a very close transliteration of a way of expressing myself among my friends at times. The poem is a clown's posture. A complete denial of responsibility is a convict's posture. They are mostly all innocent you know. There are always extenuating circumstances, just like I can explain every ticket I have ever gotten on the road. :P

  6. Erin, I believe that what you call bookends highlights the major challenge of our human experience. We need stories. They are essential to us. I believe they really are essential to our presence on the planet. However as we get ever more clear on the nature of the world in which we move, there are no stories, not as we mean them, no books, no bookends. Something else is going on. Buddhists are working toward a consciousness that matches the storyless truth of things. They say the shortcut that I write of lies in the heart of that consciousnes that is free of stories. They claim that the stories belong to the wider category they call illusion.

    I am not Buddhist as I often say. I think they are right but as well I believe the stories are to a purpose, that the destinies we live toward lie in the heart of stories and so our need is not to be free of them but to clarify them and accept the bias within them. That is part of our destiny.

    The poem as I wrote above is a half serious joke. Laughing is the right stuff. I deny a too serious purpose. Enlightenment is impossible if we do not lighten up. On the other hand, my declaration of innocence is certainly something that arises from my jailhouse mind. I'm innocent like the guys in jail are.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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