I Got Me Babe
Curled up before the fake fire,
wrapped up in a book about
the Great War
(wars not make one great),
I am myself.
I’ve spent minutes & hours & days
& years peering intently into
the 6 or so inches inside my skull.
It’s all in there, or so I’ve read.
Some days I think I can see me.
I see my face in my mind’s eye
& it looks just like me.
I run my fingertips over
the denim of my jeans
& feel like I’m supposed to feel.
Other days I sit at a metal desk
with fake wood on top,
entering data & answering phones
& helping things get from here to there.
Well, I say “I” but it isn’t me.
Whale Dave says you can be yourself
at the 7-Eleven. Or at the Pentagon.
Or in a shed on the Cape. Hmmm. Maybe.
I haven’t tried any of those spots yet,
but I’ve tried 40 or so different towns,
an equal number of jobs, and it’s only
occasionally, just every once in a while,
that I’m myself. Like on a Sunday afternoon
or a Wednesday morning.
Times like that.
My radio plays “I Got You Babe”
one morning, like the guy in the movie.
I reach over to shut it off but I can’t find it.
I open my eyes to see my bed
floating through space.
/ / /
25 November 2019
State College PA
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha!: What Fake Buddha Quotes Can Teach Us About Buddhism by Bodhipaksa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A fun and fast read that is a real boon to anyone hoping to (a) figure out when things attributed to the Buddha are wrong, and (b) learn more about what the Buddha actually said (knowing, of course, that the first couple hundred years relied on oral transmission). Recommended.
View all my reviews
while breathing in & breathing out
I picture myself on my deathbed
tearful family surrounding me
it’s just a few years from now
which is so disappointing
I waited & waited until I was free
but I was never free
I treated my life like a prison sentence
waiting for a red parole stamp
to mark the beginning of the happy phase
I thought my argument to the board
was convincing but I never quite got over
always ending the day with a slow march
back to my cell
what does it mean to be unhappy
from the moment you’re born till the very end?
back in the present I return to the breath
again and again back to the breath
I feel it deep in my gut
but the anchor slips and I’m adrift again
in four-and-one-half years I’ll be 50
29 April 2019
State Motherfucking College PA
the world’s breath
I’m in some
as the wind
tries its many hands
against the walls.
Are we ever so
29 December 2018
300 times on the cushion
or the couch or the bed
or the seiza bench.
300 trips into the carwash
of my brain, brushes
spraying this way and that.
300 dances with the monkey,
banging on the typewriter keys
with no paper in the machine.
Light the incense, light the candle,
sit, breathe, rinse, repeat.
Three bells to start, three bells
to finish. I guess that’s
eighteen hundred bells.
Seems like a lot.
3 December 2018
State College PA
I’ve been very reluctant to talk about this, but I think that sometime in the past year I’ve had one or more enlightenment experiences as a result of meditation and some life shocks. I hesitate to even use that terminology because it’s so weighted.
In any case, there have been several tangible results of seeing the world more clearly this way, one of which is that I’m exploring ideas I would have rejected before, including those rooted in nature. These experiences are also the cause of my recent job decision and the attempt to redesign my life around a different set of principles.
My life has always been moving in this direction, but very slowly until this past year, when suddenly I see the universe and my relationship to it (and the reality of whether or not there’s a “me”) in a way I never imagined before. I’m still figuring all this out, and definitely not laying claim to any special knowledge or status. It’s another step on the path.