POEM: 4 a.m. (for Douglas Adams)

4 a.m.
for Douglas Adams

I sit like a leg of the cosmic table
propping up my part of
the Whole Sort of General Mish Mash
breath measured
legs in the Burmese position
as the 4 a.m. cars whoosh by the window

/ / /

Jason Crane
27 March 2017
State College, PA

The Whole Sort Of General Mish Mash is a line by Douglas Adams.

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POEM: cohabitation


on the cushion while
you are, inexplicably
breathe in, breathe out
a brief rain shower,
passing car
the bell dings, ending
the morning session
like magic, a bagel & tea
on the table beside me

/ / /

Jason Crane
21 March 2017
State College PA

Posted in Buddhism, My poems, Poetry | Leave a comment

POEM: the mystic

the mystic

New Balance sneakers, worn soles
Builder’s tea, almond milk, one sugar
Nikon binoculars, Peterson field guide
a biography of Philip Whalen (of course)
all the trappings, none of the Trappist
there’s no “I” in enlightenment
oh wait, there totally is

/ / /

Jason Crane
17 March 2017
State College, PA

Posted in Buddhism, My poems, Poetry, Religion | Leave a comment

POEM: whiteout


the 18-wheeler comes up from behind me
passes my front bumper and disappears into
the wall of snow as if into a new dimension

I’ve slowed nearly to a stop, inching forward
I guess this is a metaphor, right?
a comparison of the course of my life to the drive

it works even better because at the end of the drive
I’m at my parents’ house, arguing with my ex-wife
like some kind of overwritten Hallmark movie

my 14-year-old, meanwhile, is tired of my activism
doesn’t want to hear about “white privilege” anymore
thinks I spend too much time critiquing people’s actions

back on the road, an elderly couple in a Buick LeSabre
passes me with a sort of devil-may-care confidence
I’m not sure how to interpret that, but it can’t be good

the return trip is more or less the same:
blowing snow that obscures the way forward
cars and trucks that vanish like a Copperfield trick

at the end, though, there’s one big difference
a van pulls into a parking lot and out they step
melting the snow with one perfect tackle-hug

/ / /

Jason Crane
13 March 2017
State College PA

Posted in My poems, Poetry | 1 Comment

POEM: this year we’ve decided to grow things

this year we’ve decided to grow things

I’m excited
when I was married, my wife
always wanted to garden
but I was never interested
I let her choose the seeds, tend
our community plot across town
her father was a farmer at the end
& she inherited some of his genes

I didn’t come from planting people
if anyone in my family ever
grew a vegetable
it certainly escaped my notice

now, though, things are changing
I guess the first thing growing is me
because living this way
with everything packaged & planned
& focus-grouped
it’s killing me slowly
it’s killing us all slowly

so this year we’ve decided
to grow things, Owen & me
in the little spaces around
the apartment & maybe in the yard
if the landlord says it’s OK

someday soon we might live
where there’s no landlord
& we can do what we want
with the ground beneath our feet

maybe we’ll all live that way

/ / /

Jason Crane
27 Feb 2017
State College PA

Posted in My poems, Nature, Poetry | Leave a comment

POEM: in response to Morrissey

in response to Morrissey

I was looking for a job, and then I found a job
And heaven knows I’m miserable now
— The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”

we do it anyway
          clocking in
          punching out
          eating a sandwich
                    at the desk
we do it because the money
lets us live in comfort
          the knickknacks & trinkets
          the gewgaws & tchotchkes
at the center of this world is a hollow place
holding the hopes we used to have
          before we were civilized
          before we learned under the feet of those
          who were stamped and labeled before us
we were created not in the image of a god
but in the likeness of this world
          with our own hollow places
          stuffed full of coulds and mights
          surrounded by the hard shell of ought
and yet:
          there is a field nearby
          & a rock with one sharp edge
          against which to smash a shell

/ / /

Jason Crane
8 February 2017
State College, PA

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