Friday, December 18, 2009

Night into Day

The night opens up under your wheels: black, empty and infinite. A multitude of stars reaching up and out to forever, and inward just as far. You feel your heart open too, like an orchid in the darkness. And then Freddy Mercury, on your Ipod singing "oh, won't you take me home tonight", just as morning breaks in your rearview mirror. Now colors gather on the horizon: orange, cyan, magenta, and chase the night across the sky, the same as every morning, only this time you're here to see it unfold. So you follow the colors too, as they lead you back home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

nothing here (just me and my skandhas)

senses perceive, feeling, tasting,
seeing, hearing, smelling, touching,
into the mind they race, rapid fire.

now forming into ideas, concepts, meaning.

sensations of pleasure and of pain,
sometimes full, but mostly not,
dark emptiness, cold air, exhilaration.

the limitations on what is possible, and what is beyond.

only these little ways into and out of
this body, this vehicle, such importance
given it, and how little it gives in return.

and endless reality undifferentiated, overlaying it all.

before form only awareness,
after form awareness again,
here now, this place in between.

senses mostly aware of that which they sense not.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

* full moon over quanah *

(11:00 pm)
driving by the light of
jupiter following the moon
at just the right moment
the timing belt shreds

(12:00 midnight)
lying bundled in an empty field
up above, the cold night sky
football field on the road just ahead
sign says this is "indian territory"

(1:00 am)
son to tow truck driver
he was a native chief? "yep"
so how'd he get his own town name?
well...(long pause) he was an "indian"

(2:00 am)
walkin' in to quanah parker inn
sleepy indian pulls on slippers
scent of curry through open window
"good evening sir, smoking or non-smoking"?

(3:00 am)
son walks outside the smoke-free room
pulls an additive free smoke
from a pack of natural american spirit
and lights a match

Saturday, September 12, 2009

(( end without world ))

cool wind upon your cheek,
stillness in the bones beneath.
flesh and blood, on the day of birth,
scattered soon upon the earth.
all here is yes and all is no,
all in motion, ebb and flow.
sun shine on and through to know,
from conscious high and callous'd low.
down stream now, against, diffused,
pick up, divert, awake, reuse.
symbols shout, and push, and crowd,
none clear as nothing, none so loud.
tell of this world, world without end,
on to an end without world again.

Monday, August 31, 2009

dreams @ 7,000 ft. (pt. i)

(fluffy kitten)

in a building, i find a tiny, fluffy gray kitten, then lose it among the rooms. walking outside and down the sidewalk, in the late afternoon sun, i look up and see the kitten perched on a ledge at the top of the building, two stories up. suddenly, it leaps into the air, legs outstretched and falling, lands heavily on my chest. it's claws dig in to my skin and hold on tight.


(flying scooter)

i am in the house of family friends from fifteen years ago. they are having a party. my son is there, too. feeling as though i don't belong, i walk out into the suburban neighborhood and am suddenly zooming along on a segway scooter. someone is holding on to my back, perhaps my son, or my shadow self. the scooter picks up speed, going rapidly through a wooded park and i hold on to the handles for dear life. nearing a set of descending steps, we accelarate and ramp off the top step high into the air. gliding, i look down and realize we are way too high to land safely. i reach for the willowly tree branches to break the fall, but they are just out of reach. as we careen upside down, hundreds of feet up, i realize that i don't have to fall. it is then that we begin flying through the air in a cascading rhythm of ebb and flow.


(grandmother's apartment)

i am visiting an apartment owned by my deceased grandmother. she is there and alive, but feeble. she has leased the space to three college-age guys, who do not want me there. i tell them i am only visiting and will leave by the end of the day. at that point, they leave me alone and i walk over to the open door and lean against the door frame. closing my eyes, i go into a deep, meditative trance, my third eye firing in rushes of brilliantly colored fractal patterns, eventually coalescing into a deep saturated blue circle. then, a sense of leaving my body (or going deeper in) as heavy rhythmic vibrations begin thumping inside.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

* awareness (in/finite) *

heavy clouds roll across blue mountain tops
internal conflict of the human mind
wind whispers through resin flaked branches
piercing insight into my own weakness
staccato rhythm of rain on cemetery grass
anger builds gradually, exploding outward
the valley below, a scene of unspeakable beauty
feeling the emptiness of the miles between us
the play of shadow and light across pale earth

having lunch with jesus carrying the cross
luminous green of sun infused catalpa leaves
coasting downhill on an empty tank
a shaft of moonlight slicing down the wall
the presence in absence of your body

vibration of earth through stone floor night
the sad refrain of a guitar in an empty room
gutted mesas slowly tumble to ground below
stars flicker high above in the night sky

everything and no thing all at the same time
the sticky sweetness of purple sage in your hand
deities staring impassively at time's procession
lying in the dark on a bed of raw cotton
the faraway glow of a distant city beckons
a dim and constant fire burning deep inside
an elusive place where no cliche exists
inked skin peering out from soft hidden folds
a dark quietness of ancient depth and splendor

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Alternative forms of dopamine
Beautiful yet weary
Connective tissue connecting
Dreams of flying
Entire nations swallowed, the
Fullness of time
Google maps lie, an
Hopeful rebirth
Illusionistic time
Justice with mercy, a
Kiss for luck
Losing track of things
Mysterious ingredients
None of the above
Oil and water mix
Potty training progresses
Quixotic endeavors ever
Reigniting the spark
Scenarios, both real and imagined
True, sort of
Under the water
Violent equilibrium ensues
Where to begin
Xeriscaping the future
Young teaches old
Zen unfolding

Thursday, July 23, 2009

entering the stream (sotapanna)

at the edge of a dark stream, further out others flow by.
wading in, you take a last glance back as she fades.
a moment's hesitation, then you step into the swift water,
thinking "i trust".

over the edge now, into vast darkness you fall,
liberated from fear and in peace,
knowing that you will be torn to pieces
when you hit bottom.

and yet, when you land, on the rocks below,
it is on your feet, in a soft cascade of water.


en el borde de una corriente oscura, en la distancia flotan.
usted mira atrás ella y ella se va.
un momento de vacilación, entonces usted camina en el agua rápida.
usted piensa el "confío".

ahora sobre el borde del agua, en la oscuridad grande usted caer.
libera de miedo en la paz,
usted sabe que usted no será no más,

pero cuando usted caerse en las piedras,
está en sus pies en una cascada suave del agua.

Friday, July 10, 2009

tierra encanta

none own this palace,
they that walk upon.
made to eat the dust,
then to return.
blessed rolling waves
of yellowed earth,
breaks on this heart
and then dispersed.


ningunos poseen este palacio,
ellas que caminar sobre.
hecho para comer el polvo,
entonces para volver.
ondas bendecidas
de la tierra amarilla,
rotura en mi corazón
entonces se dispersan.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

red sky at night

walking in, cold and benighted
alone this room, so well appointed
voices outside, a reverie them
the night is young, thrown to the wind

here the air still, and so am i
each heartbeat lived, a life goes by
incense, insulation, breeds some isolation
feeling desolation, end in capitulation

where and when and how to here
how to this place, and where from here
they like it here, so why can't i
be light of soul and feel this red sky

and where to next, the choices through
for time and time and time from you
so here so i, myself can't leave
never an end to this, not me

Monday, June 8, 2009

Approaching Storm

Riding across the plains, empty of all but desert scrub and dirt, the miles dissolving on the asphalt beneath. Far away on your horizon to the right, you see a thunderhead looming like an anvil into the sky. A few minutes later, still miles ahead and 20 degrees off center, a wall of water falls from the sky.

Nearer now, the wind picks up and starts to whip you around on the road. The deluge stays to your right, but nears with every mile that passes. Dust kicks up now from the fields and slaps across the road in front of you. Lightning arcs through the darkening sky ahead, the air heavy and pungent. A dust cloud rises just ahead, a terracotta funnel that blows by a quarter mile to your right.

You feel tension rising, the inevitability of this moment unfolding before your eyes. A raindrop now, then two on your windscreen, and you tense up heading into the looming storm. Dark clouds drop and roil overhead, and the rain comes down in sheets. There is nowhere to pull over, no shelter: nothing but flat earth and ditches rapidly filling with flood water. The wind, in full storm gusts, blasts in your face, and though full throttle, your bike feels as though at standstill to the road ahead.

And now the hail, marble-sized pellets crashing into your helmet, your chest, your hands. Stinging and ricochets scattered like manna across the drenched highway. The thought occurs that maybe you won't make it through this, and then other thoughts: of those you've hurt along the way, the ones you've left behind, those far away who need you most. You hold them there, bless them, and then let go.

The regrets, you let those go too, and accept that this is where you are and there's no way out. That's when you notice the beauty: a web of lightning crackles and dissipates right above you in the angry clouds, a rainbow column hundreds of feet tall rising up from the dark turmoil of horizon, the jets of mist spraying in all directions.

And then a sign, the first in many miles, an exit to a picnic area one mile ahead. You pull off in the driving rain and lightning, run to the nearest overhang and kneel underneath the concrete table in a puddle, the wind still buffeting all around.

Now you let go of it all, trembling uncontrollably, tears lost against the rain-soaked jacket. And there you learn to embrace the tragedy and destiny of each moment, as they reflect in drops of rain falling and magnified a thousandfold.

Time falls away as you wait there, unable to move, staring at the ground below. Gradually the rain lessens and then stops, and you are able to move again, out and across the soaked and flooded earth.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Ride West

Riding west, prairie gradually gives way to desert. Smooth highway rolls out ahead, the smell of wet hay from fresh rain the night before. Huge, cloud laden sky turns to blue as drizzles subside.

Along the way, you see the skeletons of old mom-and-pops, all closed now, replaced by corporate giants of today. Every little town a carbon copy of Loves, Subways and Exxons.

Giant wind turbines speckle the landscape in an irregular grid, visually overwhelming the aging oil derricks. Turning slow and in unison, as if to mark the gradual passage of time. They, along with the privately run detention prisons seem to be the main growth industries out west.

The prison camps, razor-wire eyesores that blight the landscape every couple of hours: Pecos, Sierra Blanca, Fabens. One of them even looks like an old hotel wrapped in metal fencing. Brown people, picked up for having the audacity to cross an imaginary line in the water are disappeared there, well away from the shopping malls in the cities.

Craggy mountain peaks appear, leading edge of the Guadalupe Mountains as I-20 turns west onto I-10. Set in deep shadow, massive and eternal they jut out defiantly from the sand. Rudra, Yahweh, Apu, known by many names, yet always stern, always capricious. Seeing these peaks, you realize why early peoples always had their mountain gods.

Vicious crosswinds pick up now, and a massive dust cloud like so much smog looms to the west. Tumbleweeds gather speed as they roll south, headed back across that imaginary line. And everywhere a vast emptiness here, the kind that's full and waiting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

+ revolutions (pt. ii) +

again, the moon is full in the night
just like it was 28 days before,
and before, all the way back
before there were minds to
call it a day or a night, or
mouths and fingers to count it out.
all the way back to when
purusha lay with prakriti
and together squirted out this
beautiful mess that the night sky
looks down on tonight. confused?
well don't be. 'cause you're rolling
along slowly with those clouds,
tryin' to cover up that lesser light
which gives such clear direction,
and you, always changing direction.
and guess what? you still
come back to the same place,
again, again, and again,
feels a lot like home, huh?
so how 'bout you stay put
this time, and keep turning
on this wheel, the true one,
the one that's been calling you
since before you had a name,
all the way back to when
purusha lay with prakriti and...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

+ revolutions +

on the sofa now, in dark light she straddles him,
and again, everything old is new
distances of time collapsed in a shared breath.

intensities rise and swell, faster now,
gravity bound flesh bearing witness to
treasures held in an elusive moment.

from below he watches as she leads,
in what is never fully grasped
but rather pushed into and thrown about.

so many revolutions in the turning of the wheel,
and bodies and perseverance succeed
where words fail, and words can never fully tell.

Monday, February 2, 2009

vortex (into the black)

down, down spiraling into the longer fearing the pain, but begrudging acceptance, an open wound to accompany you on an otherwise solitary journey. it clamps down, pushing against your chest, forcing out a torrent of tears, tears of longing, of regret, of acceptance, but never of consolation.

through many existences you have fought it, always nipping at your heels, but this time you turn to face, to challenge, even to mock it. because now you understand that the ecstatic heights of affection and oneness would not exist without these depths, and that truly they are one and the same.

you used to fear desolation, but now it seems your soul is big enough to feel it, your heart growing to embrace the hurt and surround it. so you feel, and feel, and feel, feeling your way through the night's blackness. and now it surrounds you, all emptiness and crushing weight, no goddess to save, or even bodhisattva to console you this time, going down taking with you only this one thing, the idea of love into the vortex.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

(( vehicle ))

this body, this vehicle
used up and abandoned,
a car left at the side of the road.

and where is he now,
wandering in the night, no doubt,
looking to steal a new car.

and drive it somewhere else,
to new faces and places, yet in the back,
so many questions still.

and they're along for the ride,
quietly waiting, 'til the next time around,
or the next, or the next...


este cuerpo, este vehículo
consumido y abandonado,
un coche se fue en el lado del camino.

y donde ahora está él,
vagando en la noche, está verdad,
mirada para robar un nuevo coche.

y él lo toma en alguna parte,
a las nuevas caras y a los lugares, con todo en las atras,
tan muchas preguntas a contestar

y están aquí para el viaje,
el esperar reservado hasta la próxima vez,
o el siguiente, o el siguiente…

Thursday, January 8, 2009

* al dia *

riot police huddled on a side street,
wide-eyed fresh scrubbed faces
wrapped in kevlar and plexiglass.

the ancient aztec woman blows smoke
of copal in your face, every step a benidicion
in this city sinking into the earth.

looking down on calle moneda,
sunlight so bright and clear
through the eyes of a young cat.

sitting now in the still, espacio infinitum
of a leaning edifice, heaven above
the stones carved by untold hands.

symbols jumping across the distance
of time brand themselves on skin,
always, but never quite making the leap.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

* esta noche *

a father banging the drum, playing the trumpet, watching his niña,
cool young studs in fashion gear standing by their shiny motocicletas,
couples fucking in backseat parked cars of darkened calles.

a tired mother, a smile to the little girl crying on the metro,
borrachos and the choque machine man wandering in the plaza,
the distracted policeman sending a text message from his platform.

children lighting fireworks on quiet midnight cobblestone streets,
a friend drinking pulque with a thousand years old cult of sacrifice,
breathing, feeling, dissolving, solo en el noche atras la catedral.


(the burning christmas tree) last night, the final night of this stay in mexico city, i walked down calle mixcalco toward my hotel. passing the plaza nuestro señora de san loreta, i stopped for a moment, to feel the air.

this favorite space, of all the many beautiful ones here, trashy and elegant. an ancient spanish baroque building leaning to the east, and like many of the structures here, literally sinking into the earth. the sense is of the ground breathing in and out.

a block away from the hotel, at the corner, i saw a flash of light in a huge pile of garbage on the street. seeming to spontaneously combust, a christmas tree spiked into the pile burst into flames on the empty street.

bewildered, it stopped me dead in my tracks...coming to my senses, i hustled into the hotel niza, the sound of the flames crackling in my ears.