Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Feed Fish

The kettle is always found where you left it. Oh for a pair of torn jeans, oh for the perennial lift. Snow falling in a Paris garden. Intimations of some more glorious state. You left and I have tried to say you left without adding the silent equivocation and always I have failed.

One seeks patience. One dims all lamps. All night without dreams or at least dream unattended by memory. You cannot be the apple in the wooden bowl in the painting by Rembrandt and yet . . . In the lacunae, my love.

My sodden black glove. Once the conspiracy has taken root, reason flees for the hills. Nobody believes an umbrella man. That photograph you took of me - long since misplaced though hardly forgotten - belongs on some fool's mantle. Be careful or love will find you wanting.

The fisher of men was too busy baiting his hook to help me untangle my dreams. In your last letter, you mentioned audacity. Sparrows fly in and out of the barn at what seem like perilous speeds. It's a nice day for tea, a nice day to feed fish and pretend that war never happened.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Into The Lapidified Air

The secret to all good writing is to know that you can't make a mistake so long as you are hearing right. Seeing the light? Even rhyme is subject to the great undoing. Ghost is a kind word, another way of seeing the real self. As in, that spider plant looks healthy.

One inquires so as to know yet the act of inquiry - arising as it does from a sense of lack - is itself a kind of knowing. So. One eats cookies for breakfast, one casts a kind of spell. Cast iron no less. And thus.

One's writing is an evasion. Or rather, a theft. The grand cosmological design bereft of a few sentences. Thus this. Thus thus.

It's a matter of trust! I keep saying the same thing which is to say that silence is only partially fructive. Which is another way of saying what God isn't as if God was that. Could I be  more productive? Could I scale the last shelf into the lapidified air all to kneel before the one who is not - but why not - ever there?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Grist For Heaven

One laughs, watching how easy it is to write. Just say it!  And so all those empty mornings are suddenly valuable. Wood-shedding. One struggles to maintain a useful fire.

The dog is the father of the child who is father of the man. Don't talk to me about co-pilots. Those apples are meant for pie. My stomach is grist for Heaven. You wake up, you lurch down the stairs.

Aspirin equals true forgiveness. One anticipates a fatal experience. Is befuddled? You can see, as through a window, the frozen goldfish. What I am getting at is a rhythm implied by electricity.

Keep talking. The combustible present absent a token. One asks a question without expecting any answer. Never mind that direction we discussed. I'm drinking from a new bowl now.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One Arises At An Odd Hour

At dawn an empty clothesline, through which both horses can be seen waking up. A penumbral method of attaining grace. What remains illusive is not unuseful. We traded quips outside the meeting house, fingering black lapels. My God is your grim reaper.

Oh apples how I love thee. To be or not to be is almost certainly not the question. On the other hand. Swans in one's dreams signify fear of a deepening unworthiness. These words!

Peas and birds. The lingering aftereffects of writing sentences for four years straight. One accepts judgment, one stands ready in their cell. Snow on the barn roof, Buddha grinning in the eaves. I have no investments to speak of, at least not the way you understand the word.

Time passes and leaves no wake hence our inclination to create. Our inclination to make? Oh pass me another slice of apple pie and tell me again how your mother fears the sea. Yet one arises at an odd hour and stirs the stove and steps aside and expects nothing. At last, the moon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Prerogative Of The Silenced

It is a pleasure to write this way. One is in process, indifferent to product. The apples on the table do not claim red. Folded napkins are a comfort. In the other room, a cat tidies its paws after eating.

The recipe called for pepper, God called for garlic. Oil lamps stirred by an indifferent wind. We turned to Ecclesiastes, we claimed that we were guided. Channeled texts my foot! Yet never quite without coffee.

Without coffee one can never rush the gates of Heaven. What is attainable is maintainable. Inalienable? I got my enlightenment at Josiah Crest's Radiant Zendo of Lovely Impermanence, you? Oh you, always kvetching about spinal curvature.

It is a pleasure to write this way indeed! To repeat is to insist and thus is the prerogative of the silenced. Yet proceed with caution lest the angels send you back for another lesson in humility. Don't eat apples, pat every cow you see. Grace as always hides in the peas.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Gleaning, A Comfort

One wakes - stumbles to piss - gasps between stars. Horses step delicately over the frost, heavy presences, nervous observers. Not the breeze which slips hymnally through surrounding trees. Studying the veins in one's hand, one remembers St. John. Luminous apples indeed.

Glittering salt! Fragments of yesterday's activity, ragged chickens scratching the mud. How little we need to do when you get down to it. When you get down to it, keep going. This is what Jack Gilbert meant when he found Byzantium in was it a pear?

Ophidiophobic at 5 a.m.. Flavored coffee begs many questions, not one of which is solved by aspirin. Your smile is a gleaning, a comfort. One awakens, one does. And in the same circle of light that yesterday yielded only books!

Bakers? I trembled when it came time for my medicine. A cold night the stoves themselves could only rant against, mute iron fists. We say beneath when we mean between. I am instructed by strange dogs gratefully.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Only Fractured Solitudes

Coffee. Three shooting stars. The universe in perpetual decay. Disarray? All my best arguments are with myself.

Dreamless sleep first. Notes for the day. Burning the bridge to impossible is not an acceptable mode. One insists on who they are. Freedom is not made by language.

Creaking trees, crunching snow. Think of bells in dark towers long unrung. I followed the dog gratefully off the road. Small stones wrapped in rice paper, given as gifts outside the temple. Memory is as the present moment does.

All words are de facto lies. There are no crowds, only fractured solitudes. As in: he wrote he wrote. Against the cold, a monkish cowl. The loneliness of understanding love.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Truth Coming Home

Behind my shoulder, a disgraced pontiff. The mattress depresses as one prepares to pray. The gift of eloquence finally understood as not a gift at all. Yet wordiness, as always, attends.

Long walks in snowy rain, talking out loud to the dog. One arrives at what is essential by way of suffering. The path is optional but not the destination. I love you and want only for you to be naturally joyful.

Though earlier one wept, considering the damage. Your prose poems magnify what in me yearns to inspire. I say I say. Behind the clouds, the moon and behind the moon, you.

Truth? Coming home I wondered who would notice my footprints. Return a spiritual practice. In my hands now a new project not so different from the old one.

A running dog, a dream of wolves. I cannot help you, nor manage most social settings. The argument at last has been settled. The dog crawls back into bed, I kneel to pray, I hold you the only way that I can.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stymied Embraces

A blurred blue sky gives way - is overcome perhaps - obscured at least - by gunmetal gray. Winter is icumen in. Appointments, stymied embraces, folds of skin the color of coffee. It was always like this, even when it wasn't.

Or so. I say. Love. Is the new blurred blue.

I went back to Toronto, letters in hand, and arrived at a funeral. Her penmanship had suffered. Consult the preceding stanza for directions. It gives way to threats of storm.

It gives way is the wrong way to say it. Later, one could taste the coffee, could replay certain parts of the conversation. You move mountains only when you don't give a damn about the deer who live there. Pissing, a Christmas carol could be heard, thin as a reed in the distance.

It seems that her voice cracked and the plumbing was always spluttering in the walls. Discussing the death penalty on mattresses, watching the Montreal sky out the window. Something difficult, something blue. Knocking on the door, waiting, collar turned up against the snow.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Models of Betrayal

I woke to voices. One wakes, one arrives. What is hesitation for? What does it mean to say I am content when you are not? Thus morning.

Thus this. Twenty sentences as proof that one lives because it is evidence that one works. And yet and yet. Must one submit to must? I dreamed of testimony in favor of Jesus, given in time.

I want the room to fill with light. I want to feel your hand slip into mine. Mind? In any case, a narrative of which one is scared. The circumstances under which you wear a wedding ring.

Or hear the bedding sing. We wait a long time for that moment and when it comes there is only ever disappointment. If you are paying attention. The priests became models of betrayal long before the present millenium dawned. It's all over.

It never began? Do you begin to see the problem? I cannot continue to write letters to people I do not know. One makes poetry, one makes a prayer. Over tea, watching shadows on the wall, alone as always, saying it's okay when it's not and never was.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

With Each Kind Word

The dog yawns. On the cross, Christ after Christ nods its head. The essential affirmation is not always comfortable. Yet - again - yes.

And then there was the time we ended up walking twelve miles home in the snow. "I really do like that dress." He stood outside the bar, watching stars, not speaking, unsure of everything. One says "as always" and means what?

Current drugs include television, money, low carb diets, caramel nougat. Fading friendships, ascendant loves. The horse lowers his head with each kind word. Melting ice in the sunlight.

God. One wanders to the pond's edge and recalls fairy tales that suggested some transformation was at hand but in a frightening - a power not of thyself - kind of way. Harp music, flowers I do not know the name of. Not God.

Well, that's to call the problem what it is. The strains of violin faded first, then the engine broke. There is nothing before us but a long dark. You bring your attention to it and as always it rusts.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Difference Between Stars and Stairs

One longs.

One disagrees.

One falls to sleep trying to find a single thought that is not bounded by both past and future.

Places I have been include.

The dream of a hermitage high on a hill, the dream of pumpkins and apples, the dream of you.

We move backwards and call it spiritual progress, as if dusting the sand to remove evidence we ever walked there were a virtue.

Nothing is that also does.

What she was getting at - in the letter that arrived three days before the boat sank - was a difference in tenor, see?

In other words, always.

We woke when the sun was just showing itself, found three dead 'coons in the yard.

The memory of tortured dogs.

One is haunted by this need to do something, anything.

As if there wasn't a script, as if free will actually meant freedom.

One is drawn in particular to the difference between stars and stairs.

Saints vex.

When you lead with form, content suffers.

The twenty senteces are becoming a mean taskmaster.

What feverish pitch can I not attain?

One longs, one does.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Men Who Practice

He crests the hill and stands, shoulders wide in the moonlight, face hidden like a holstered gun, staring at the town. We do make mistakes, or we believe we do. The river rises and the dog drowns trying to cross it. You collect beaver teeth, dead butterfly wings, and once played a rusty harmonica to try and win a girl who'd never seen a radio. I write it and he takes it, again.

Before I could mail it to you, he took it, folded in his black leather glove and left. We are always waiting. We are like braids of smoke curling above small cottages where the poor touch bravely, exercising the one pleasure left them. My anger has never left me. The rose of sunset is nuclear today.

Bloody fingers, loose teeth and I can't feel my feet. The damaged crow tried to get away from me and fascinated by the glossy black of its wing feathers and furious eyes I followed. You torment me too. He instructed his followers to pin me to corkboard as a reminder and I hung like that for centuries. Here's something: I don't care what you want to read.

I repented and it wasn't enough because really, when was it ever? He does not care for temples, churches, zendos or the men who practice in them. Unable to sleep, I get out of bed and kneel and profess my faith in Jesus. In the darkness, laughter. In the laughter, my name burning up like crickets.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

As Fructive As Writing Poetry

One is no longer a child and thus is not wise. Of what are we scared when we refuse to embrace return? For the call goes out all the time and we are always capable of answering.

Enlightening text vs. texts about enlightenment. Why must it always come down to vs.? In the morning shadows, writing, and calling it God, and enough.

What I am getting at is a theory of home. I do not believe in creation myths. Ribs baked on sauerkraut, served on a bed of steamed rice, with cider maybe, yes.

Another man passes a fallen man. Your Samaritan is my rube sucker. Are we stuck then, where the roads cross, and thick fogs roil down the hills toward us?

Never omit the mail! Never rely on a protagonist you don't love or can't imagine loving. Historians are useful, but only to a point.

He wrote he wrote. He bent paper clips, watched seagulls out the window, and it was as fructive as writing poetry might be. Jesus drops his bag in the hall, hunkers down, waits for the classroom to empty.

So we are back to the start then? Here in the twentieth sentence, can we at last articulate a beginning?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wedded To Yet

There aren't that many places where one has to kneel.

A chipmunk scurried between pews in the country church.

Ethereal vs. earthly.

Vs. reading lessons.

The computer grinds along, not quite smoking, thus disclosing our fatal commitment.

One carries a flashlight, turns from the road.

In the distance, dogs howl, heedless now of Sir Oracle.

The inherent danger of stairs, I mean stars.

In my dream, everyone was laughing at my writing and prayer hut, and encouraging me to expand it, and all the proposed dimensions were divisible by six.

The chicken or the egg is not an irrelevant question.

Part two begins with a label.

Seven students misunderstand the witches in Macbeth, one gets them.

Would you crawl across cut glass to recover your wedding ring?

Obviously some symbols matter so say it.

The page fills with notes and then what?

One wishes Gandhi and Dorothy Day would get out of the way.

Like kirtan leaders with ideas for a new age.

Another crappy poem by a man who might have known better.

Yet the morning passes with two distinct visits from Christ and so I can't complain.

I who am wedded to yet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Turning Point, A Good One

It seems as if I am always saying the same thing. Like between the cattail and lake, deer.

Moon between dense clouds. Unseasonal warmth.

One wakes to find they only act for money. The introduction of laughter into the grand plan was a turning point, a good one.

A scattered bunch of pens. He hummed.

He recognized his anger at last for what it was. We walk through balmy dreams.

Beware of what you call awareness. Jesus calmly sewing buttons onto coats for old soldiers.

Forgiveness has been redefined, helpfully. There are mornings when one wants only to go back to bed.

From dreams of - I forget - to dreams of - I can't say. Well, goats certainly.

Will death please stand up so I can put my arms around you? Hopeful, ambient.

The present is not enough. At last.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Between Action And Activity

At the outset, one sentence. Yet also an agreement that nothing will be said. Learned? We are the bell we long to ring, the silence in which it rings. Or something.

Someone? You can't say anything anyway. One woman likes chickens, another adopts a turkey. The moon rises up through riffled storm clouds, one or two stars appear on the horizon. It's nothing and that's okay.

Or so I say, being predisposed to saying. One distinguishes between action and activity and feels . . . dirty. The devil loves semantics! Exclamation points resemble what garden implement?

I used to write he wrote he wrote. Being clever is not it either. Yet one does fall to one's knees, breathless at the sight of all that light in dark skies. We break out laughing. Twenty sentences later, still.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another Nautilus

Briefly. In lieu of arrest. Subtly prideful. Emphasis on eloquence. Oh, and rain.

Three kisses, eleven stars. Beneath the old Willa tree. Not cops, men with guns. I mean Jesus. Hold thy tongue!

That quality moonlight has. One is the prism they can't define. I mean listen! Seriously, tea? Yet another nautilus.

Yet another naughty us. Odd ducks, strange birds but luckily, letters. So is it a question of flight? We bear the loving beams despite ourselves. Immortality is wind.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The We In Question

Could I repeat myself precisely? Without access to the past? What about for a parade?

In my dream, an old Irish woman cracked funny at a funeral. Outside the window was a big parade (with what seemed like too much space between marching bands). She said, we criticize the Gods and right then it's a banana peel appears on the stairs.

As if by magic. Someone dies and all of a sudden students abound. She did not mean that the Gods were invested in retribution.

Rather, we assign this or that quality to the Gods and simultaneously adapt the world to that quality? The secret to everything is that we're doing it to ourselves. But also - importantly - that the "we" in question has no idea what it is.

One draws a breath, one hunches their shoulders, awaiting a blow. A lighthouse? The seating was cramped and many were annoyed when I laughed out loud, saying to the man next to me, I get it.

I finally got it! I have been given permission to embrace the Thoreauvian impulse. He was supported largely by his mother and one certain kindly benefactor.

"But be sure to watch without judgment or condemnation what attracts you," he wrote. Oh sure and purple monkeys with winning lottery tickets will fly out of my butt singing early Elvis Presley songs.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Divine Plan Which I Only Know In Fragments

It has to do with where one places the prayer. Our lives are altars. Our lives our altars? The worst thing about automotive culture is not the pressure on fossil fuels nor the evisceration of the rural landscape but the impact of bumper stickers on civic discourse. We must absolutely distinguish between simplicity and stupidity!

Said the man who hasn't won a chess game in - let's see and then let's fudge a bit - seven days at least. Chocolate is not dishonest but I am, happily. Or will be once I better understand the Truth of Christ. I am fabricating all the time, which is to say that I am carefully selecting threads and weaving them in accordance with the Divine plan which I only know in fragments. If you aren't laughing by now then I suggest you stop reading.

Oh, I don't really care if you read or don't read. Look around. You think this project is contingent on readers? It's contingent on stars, and dogs, and and the hoof prints of certain quadrupeds filled with frost as the sun rises. Okay, now I'm laughing.

Jesus, seriously, it is so hard to say one true thing? Why would you tempt me otherwise? The truth is, it's the devil - the "evil one" as what's-his-name writes on his blog - who wants me all sober and pontifical. Give me a good belly laugh, give me maple syrup in my morning tea. Give me love any way I can handle it, watch me go under, lift me back up!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Exegetical Impulse

When I do not write first thing after prayer - that blue-black moment before the sun rises but after the dog and I have counted uncountable stars - the writing changes. One looks outward - yields, perhaps, to the exegetical impulse - rather than inward. Distinguish, in other words, between goals and the quest for its own sake. The way we say it matters, but matters always, is what I'm saying.

The tops of the pine trees darken and the Jesus ever settled in their limbs softens as if ready at last to set himself adrift.

Well, I chose coffee instead of tea, pacing the small room over peering intently at empty pages (alternating from window to page to window). Letters have a salutary effect. One learns that to write is to love and that it is the love that is hard to understand and bring into application, not the writing. Decisions, as always, have to be made.

We follow the apparently unraveling thread until we learn its infinite nature at which point we can stop and dedicate ourselves to saying it.

Saying it just so, I mean. Yet I do equivocate, as the horse sometimes does, deciding whether to follow or simply to stand and wait. Sometimes it seems as if flakes of snow have been sifting down to our shoulders forever. One longs for what one cannot say.

To long is of itself to know eternity (I wrote in the nineteenth century).

And still it does not rain. Still you sit in the dark shadow that never deepens, never softens, awaiting the mail. Repetition is akin to whistling past the graveyard of meaning. You cannot take it seriously, nor seriously enough.

This, the first writing of the day, as noon draws near, and all the ghosts who always stand between me and my pencils.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Mode Of Insistence

First, the itinerant carpenter with thaumaturgical impulses. We resist commensality and thus feel excluded. What is the same cannot be different, that is the nature of our fear of sacrifice. The phone call – at the other end of which an old Greek woman sounded mildly annoyed – came from a New York monastery. I am all “over the place” these days.

I am angry, too, which complicates the morning prayer. Would you walk past starving babies to get to the perfect yoga studio? The politic body is ever being addressed. Any definition of wealth other than “freedom from wants” is wrong. Thus you see how I conflate the many confusions that compose me.

Yet some grace stays possible, even as the dog struggles to walk, even as the neighbors grumble about fallen tree limbs, even as the bank account dwindles. We forget the degree to which a pine tree can bless. Consider healing as something other than the cure. The finger one mistook for the moon now taps one's shoulder, ever unwilling to be forgotten. In the distance, coyotes, and in the body, a chill.

One forgets their pen and so the page remains blank. It is hard to solve time when you need time to do it! The closer I get to those twentieth century men exploring a distinctly Vedantic Christianity, the more I feel I am getting closer to something. There is virtue in repetition once you understand it as a mode of insistence. Why do I believe I have to end here?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In Contact With The Missing Contagion

Something. Perhaps a wrinkle in the skin near the wrist. Three shooting stars. What crossed before him as he walked in darkness. Can a sound be said to limp?

Can a memory justify anything? Something does. Yet we are not so ancient that just any memory will do. One considers light. One does.

Mathematics enters the writing, a critical union. How else would we know oneness. I write to circumvent an otherwise time-consuming learning. It is like sculpture. Or something.

What he meant to say was . . . It's in the lacunae or it's nowhere. Everywhere? What passed before me brought me up short, fully in contact with the missing contagion. Something divine we know as always.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Way One Wants

You start sometimes without knowing what you're doing, or even what material you have. Frost in early November means nothing to a potato.

It is hard to accept that needing to see stars every morning is as addictive as whiskey once was. Jesus maintains a steady presence, reachable but not always responsive, not the way one wants anyway.

The female cardinal, that dusky fire. Chickadees, their tiny hearts like invisible sparks against the swiftly gathering cold.

In my dream I was writing and slowly the writing became this writing. Nobody is watching.

God, like democracy, is a good idea that is challenging in application. This is why so many scientists annoy me.

It was Dylan's melodic phase, which is an interesting way to think about it. Could I, if I chose to, write songs again?

One turns it over only to learn that they were still holding a big chunk back. It's a process, awakening, not just a word.

Those poor Irish boys, first executed, then denied burial. Yet for some reason I persist in admiring the entire nineteenth century.

One takes note of that which takes note of the sentence. One forgives dancing, one wakes from dreams into new dreams and shrugs as if to say, what else did you expect?

What else is there but to "keep on keeping on?" Faced as always with bells that do not ring.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mindless Ambling Endlessly Fruitful

One's dreams never grow old, or so I think, rising from yet another at 5 a.m. (yesterday's 4 a.m.) to wander up and down the road with the dog. We were in California looking at houses and C. found one and I remember pointing out the corner yard to S. saying Mac could live there, couldn't he. The house was square but arranged so that one could move through it in a circle. Later, I sat with realtors in a too-bright, too-plastic government type room, awaiting permission to act. The image of yesterday's dream - the executed men struggling with their nooses - still haunts, but not the way shoes do.

The thing with shoes has nothing to do with the devil. You have to take them off when you approach the sacred, right? Or so Moses learned in his traveling days, drawing nigh the burning bush. What more practical item of clothing is there? Mine are old and falling apart and easy to discard as one nears God, the mindless ambling endlessly fruitful.

Years ago I took note of the deep sadness that appeared to be uniquely mine, even at a young age when such exquisite sensitivity was not, um, precisely indicated. Why don't you ever smile was what a lot of people said and still would say if I didn't compensate the way I do. You understand, of course. What happens is that the inclination to write imagines an audience of one and then it begins to own all sorts of unexpected energy, like a bunch of prisms bouncing on taut sheets or perhaps a mirror ball swung by a giddy giant. Of course our correspondence takes time, it would hardly be worth the effort if it didn't.

Or so I write, being so inclined. I, who can't abide inelegance, want to push the borders of all comfort. The new work calls and I struggle with its mandate, its form, its size, et cetera. What do you suggest? And how can one not reject shoes once it's understood that nothing is that isn't God, that the holy is ever upon us?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Apocalyptic Copout

Moses was a traveller at heart. Hence, one is haunted by shoes, by sandals. This far and no further. Ashes caught by the wind lift like little flowers and the voice becomes a whisper that cautions against transition.

We are - with God - a singular brutal economy. One continues long after the sun rises, until at last there is nowhere left to go. Jesus instructs us on the true meaning of justice, the radical forgiveness that necessarily underlies love. Why don't you ever write me?

Yesterday in a dream I saw you holding a baby and gazing at the sea. God cannot be seen and we cannot really be reborn. Yet some concession seems to occur, some union is readily perceived. We move towards a final undertaking, bent on grace, despite the evidence against it (against us).

Meditation is an apocalyptic copout. All bane and never a boon. Let us think, then, about one might exist between old and new testaments, without actually bridging them. You who worship the back of your hand, whose shoes are the marvel of family and friend, what exactly do you want from the silence that necessarily greets all pleading?

The earth shall be darkened on an otherwise clear day and the righteous shall have on hand candles to which the rest of us might cling. Here comes the devil's train, long and black, screaming down the bloody rails. We are compelled to follow particular ends under the guise of free will. The mortal self stumbles, the unseen other watches, the heart (as always) hums a plaintive little tune.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jesus Waits

Slushy fields, stars made luminous with mist. Splashing in unseen puddles, toes chilling quickly in old boots bought years ago to save a buck. In the cattails, a beaver slaps the pond in warning. Deer watch nervously from the bracken, ears cocked, eyes unblinking. For all the harm I signify there is still this yearning for peace . . .

Yet where the logging path turns to hardtop one encounters at last (unmistakably) their Luciferian pride. Old farm implements, burnt goldenrod, bunches of punky snow. The dog noses the ground, leaps ahead, shows up behind. The leading in hell thing is not working! And yet . . .

One recalls too - having seen it now in so many places - God's admonition to Moses. No man shall see my face and live. Our transformation to men of peace - our second birth, as it were - must begin with willingness. Cold winds follow us all the way to the road's end. Noon is, indeed, the darkest part.

Meanwhile, Jesus waits patiently, picking his teeth in the pine boughs, studying the stars in their filmy bowers. One proclaims their desire to surrender and . . . Nothing happens because nothing ever does. Though there is this, the twenty sentences, easily culled from that other dark place, the one we rarely write about. Nobody listens when I tell them I have control problems and authority problems and so my solitude deepens and so then does your envy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Only Song I Know

There is something about men that I cannot say. Also, there is something about money that I cannot say. Must learn? One never knows, hence God.

Above his head, the canary woke up and began singing. Stale beer, warm and flat. The concertina bore no dust and he hefted it in shadows, staring at the empty street. A mournful air, the only song I know.

Drudgery? Fiery anyway? The dream was supposed to be cautionary, yet I awoke with travel plans. "He had read many of the necessary books, but he was too hopelessly stupid to get much benefit from them."

Thus San Francisco. The self-righteousness of new members of the so-called peace churches. The chainsaw, the neighbor's fence. At dawn, barely visible in the distance, horses signifying what?

"But for one thing, McTeague would have been perfectly contented." That old story. God is. That one, too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kiss Against My Better Judgment

Against my better judgment, I kissed you.

The garden was shrouded in mist, a loveliness no sweeter for the regret that was soon to consume it.

One hears chains, one sees a long tunnel.

Yet I will always remember that one hill in was it Galilee, the warm breeze on our faces, and the way you talked about your brother growing up.

Here we go again Jerusalem.

After, I went where the dogs live.

The voices of the long-insane were heard echoing amongst the tombs.

One forgets a great deal.

How seriously you took each meal, always careful to both bless and laugh.

I came to in the very place where I began.

One suffers at the whims of plot.

One judges, one kisses.

In my dream, you carried a vase of water through the desert without complaining until at last you arrived at a single wilted flower.

One kiss is sufficient for judgment.

A carriage can be seen in the Heavens, the great steeds that draw it are thundering even now.

We always carry a rope, as we always believe that some ending will be necessary and it is better to have choices than not.

It was because in that moment you were simply a brother yourself and I understood that and so much else besides.

We bear miracles, despite ourselves.

One years for a sweet rain, for a chance to try again.

One longs to the point of suffering for forgiveness, that single kiss.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Evolving Understandings

The red bird at intervals not established by me.

Bruised gaps in the lamb bone after stewing.

Prayer as song and song as union.

Evolving understandings of Christ Mind.


Reading at night, covers to the shoulder, the sound of rain (or snow) on the window.

Pine trees any time, Maple trees in fall.

The dead goldfish of my childhood.

Certain kinds of love and the corrosive effects of time.

Certain waltzes.

Apples, cinnamon.

The image of a monk in summer praying beneath an open sky, its riot of stars, the soft folds of his woolen cowl covering his shoulders.

That I have been here before and know what to do.

Max Planck.

Laughter from the stomach not the throat.

Black bears when they don't especially care you're watching.

Tracks in the snow.

The two note spring song of chickadees.

Emily Dickinson, of course, especially in the later letters.

That there is never enough, ever.