Monday, January 16, 2017

dark times, poetry challenge day 5

The owl flies at twilight
said Hegel, meaning
wisdom comes at the
end of civilization

The consolation of philosphy
said Boethius
as he was awaiting
a blameless execution

comes from within and virtue is all one 
ever really has because it is the one
thing not at the mercy of fortune.

which is to say

mercy is the only thing one really ever has
because it is the one thing not a virtue of fortune.

poetry challenge day 4. Complex Rhyme

I cried 3 times just now watching Obama honor Biden
and then Biden deflect the honor back to Obama. No one
could ever convince me their love for each other, their families
and their country is an act, is anything less than genuine.
Obama and Biden. I remember when Obama first chose Biden
I thought, Obama and Biden rhymes with Osama Bin Laden,
how strange is that? It's not a simple rhyme either, but a complex
multi-syllabic slant rhyme. It seemed beyond random; six
syllables, it would be pretty difficult to come up with one
better than that. It's practically inspired. What could it mean?
Was it a sign pointing to the fact that meaning doesn't reside in
names? Or did it indicate the very nearness of meaning
between the two, the way a change in only a few consonants
between one set of names and another could, for instance,
be the difference between the good guys and the bad?
Though of course I'm trained not to believe in good and bad.
That's something you learn if you read enough books,
that there is no bad without good, black without white,
everything's grey, it's all relative, each side thinks they're right,
etc. After all, Osama Bin Laden was a man who loved his family,
his people, his God, as much as Barack and Joe do. Maybe
that's what this oddly uncanny rhyme was trying to tell me?
I mean it's a private lesson, really, because most people won't
believe it means anything at all, and whether it does or doesn't
really doesn't matter in the end. What matters is I took the bait
fate put in front of me in the form of a poem, rhymed a villain
with my heroes and thereby stepped into someone else's skin.
Who was Bin Laden? Why did he do what he did, would I have
done the same if I shared his name? If I lived where he lived?
It's such a complicated rhyme isn't it? I love Obama and Biden
but don't know how to feel about the murder of Osama Bin Laden.

7 day art challenge day 3

Lucia sitting on
Christopher Walken's Head
Petting poodle purse

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

7 day challenge: day 2

Woke Up Like This

My body disappeared away I turned
Away into the night like a thief had
Taken me away a ghost his prey I
Feel it don't feel it a surge of negative
Energy for one disappearing instant
An ember floating up out of a fire
A shooting star in reverse a speck
Going dark and then poof it's black
I speak but can't hear myself at all
Sound in a vacuum no room any
More you there next to me no more
Me I can't breathe nothing to breathe
Even the air has disappeared I suck
In with failing force until I suck myself
Inside out not even smoke comes out
Silence not a sound no matter not
Even nothing no trace left except you
Possibly as if I knew a few black lines
On a page of digitized air until a solar
Flare zaps the cloud and then even
this no longer there to feel any more

7 day challenge: 1


Paul Höldengraber talking to Laurie Anderson at the New York Public Library:

Paul: You know, um, in preparing for tonight and preparing to speak to you and immersing myself in you and your work I've been so taken by what takes you and particularly by the work of your master, I don't know exactly how to pronounce it but, Mingyur Rimpoche, and learn from you what you've learned from him and in some way find a way for you to introduce him to me because I feel I could use him very well, because he said something that I find so extraordinarily moving and in the context of ending with "yes," he seems to be saying yes, all the time, in the face of terrible things, he continued somehow to think that the purpose of our time here is to be joyous and happy despite. And, well, we might be talking about loss and sadness, but he says one of the exercises we need to endeavor is he says we need to feel sad without being sad and I just find that extraordinary.

Laurie: So do I. What a great thing to practice.

Paul: And I just want to know how one practices it, what it means, tell me everything.

Laurie: Can I just tell you a few things? I'm just a beginner. I'm drawn to him because he's technically the happiest person in the world according to the Madison University's neurological department. He won the contest. You do it through, apparently they measure this through sound somehow, a way to measure equanimity, as opposed to like, for example, cold-heartedness, you play these sounds that are kind of horrific and it's a way to evaluate how reactive you are, how much you're like, ahhhh! how much you're able to control your mind and know your mind, he's a
Greek know yourself kind of guy, he has this concept of monkey-mind, as many Tibetan Buddhists do, of the mind that's going, "What's over there, What time is it? What's this thing? I better check my phone." (I do need to check my phone, good I just reminded myself of that.) So anyway, the idea is that to try to, if anyone has done this, you probably have, if you control your mind, just try to write down what went through your mind in the last 20 minutes and you read it and you realize, "This person's insane! How could this?" You know, talk about jump cuts, Melville did this, you know, whrrwhrrwhrrwhrr. So the study is to try to understand what your mind is and people like Burroughs had another way to do, he had the idea of this detective, one side of your mind looking at another, and it's a kind of dark investigation, and I just remembered one of these things, "I woke up and somebody was holding my hand and I realized it was my other hand holding that hand." So integrating yourself in ways in which you are the actor and the editor are ways which are really fascinating for me, but for me meditating is exactly like making art, it comes down to one very very very simple thing, just wake up, just be aware, that's it.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

what to do when you're bored

What To Do When You're Bored
This is a poem for all the kids out there who are bored.
Actually, it's not really a poem, because I don't really know
what a poem is. I call everything a poem. Unless it is clear
I am writing prose. Right now I am almost writing prose,
but I'm not. I'm going to tell you, in poetry, how to entertain yourself.
First, don't play any video games. They are not a good use of boredom.
Better to lie on your back and look up at the ceiling than play a video game.
And TV isn't much better. Books are the best
except for lying on your back and looking at the ceiling.
What's on the ceiling? Sooooo boring.
What happens to boredom when you dive in?
Eventually it becomes everything.
I could just keep writing like this.
It's easy. Especially because no one will ever read it.
I mean you will, and that's what matters.