Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hallelujah, Socrates

Maybe we could have done a five things post, but the end would not have been nearly as effective



Readers Reader, you may be surprised to learn that the post yesterday -- about the trees -- was not the one I planned to write. ('Surprised,' meaning 'indifferent.') But I’ve been weaselling out of that post for a week. So I got to thinking about Socrates, not that we’re close or anything, because it seems he said this, 'The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Which seems kind of harsh to me, but then I’ve never been on trial for my life or anything. I’m sitting at my kitchen table listening to Keith Whitley sing ‘I’m no stranger to the rain.’ But I thought of Socrates because of Ray Bradbury, who said, ‘You can only go with loves in this life.’ Which struck me because of reading this poem by Mary Oliver, ‘Wild Geese,’ [because one time I wrote a poem (bad) about geese, too]:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. 
And I needed to hear that, because before I had read that Jeff Buckley said this:
It’s part of maturity, to project upon your life goals and project upon your life realized dreams and a result that you want. It’s part of becoming whole … just like a childish game. It’s honest — it’s an honest game, because … you want your life to hold hope and possibility.
It’s just that, when you get to the real meat of life, is that life has its own rhythm and you cannot impose your own structure upon it — you have to listen to what it tells you, and you have to listen to what your path tells you. It’s not earth that you move with a tractor — life is not like that. Life is more like earth that you learn about and plant seeds in… It’s something you have to have a relationship with in order to experience — you can’t mold it — you can’t control it…
Which was a little depressing at first, because it was kind of like Jeff was saying that dreams were just ‘childish games,’ [bummer!] but then after reading more of Mary’s geese:
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I recast what Jeff said, in my head, you know, after reading that poem, and felt better about everything -- especially that last part about being more organic in one’s approach, which is what I do, anyway. [I once told a guy during a job interview for a position I did not get that I didn’t have any goals -- anathema to admit in job interviews, btw.] But I was really channeling Jeff Buckley, not that I knew it at the time -- by being more organic in my approach to life, I mean. I think Mary and Jeff -- and shoot, maybe even Ray Bradbury, would have understood that thing yesterday, about the trees, don’t you? I mean, they were quiet about it [unlike the geese], for sure, but they definitely ‘offered themselves up.’ Kind of like Socrates, too, eh?

Although I am wondering, is an unexamined blog worth writing? Don’t answer that.

Friends Friend, it’s time for the money shot. Longtime readers reader should have seen this one coming. A lesser bad blogger would have given you the Jeff Buckley tune you expected. Instead, you’ve found the only place on the internet bringing Socrates and Selena Gomez together in one post. You. Are. Welcome.


I know I'm acting a bit crazy / Strung out, a little bit hazy / Hand over heart, I'm praying / That I'm gonna make it out alive

Monday, December 15, 2014

The trees and their quiet dreams

Riding home



Today on the way home from Wal-mart down Huguenard Road I was thinking about the trees and what they dream about in winter. All the months they are naked and gray and still in the cold. Do they dream of summer, when they are full-green with faces turned to the sun. Or that first warm day of spring when winter dies. And we are all reborn. Or are they too human. And dream of the day at the peak of fall when they are at their most beautiful and dramatic, blood-red and fire-orange, bleeding out in an October wind. I tried to listen to their dream as I drove by, but the radio was too loud and I drove too fast. Somebody who has just been to Wal-mart is maybe not the best person to wonder about these trees and their quiet dreams. Although someone should.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

EDITED: Kyrie, eleison

Again with the litany. EDITED, and probably not for the last time


Breathing

Kyrie eleison:
we can't breathe

On the Duc du Maine
we can't breathe

Shackled
we can't breathe

Wielding a whip
we can't breathe

Whipped
we can't breathe

Oppressed
we can't breathe

Ignorant of history
we can't breathe

Without opportunity
we can't breathe

Ignored
we can't breathe

Prejudiced
we can't breathe

Profiled
we can't breathe

Armed
we can't breathe

Threatened
we can't breathe

In destruction
we can't breathe

Shouting
we can't breathe


Pen and parchment
we can breathe

Song and symbol
we can breathe

Grace and strength
we can breathe

Marching together
we can breathe

Fairness. Justice.
we can breathe

Educated
we can breathe

Dreaming
we can breathe

Love not hate
we can breathe

Listening
we can breathe

Brothers, sisters:
breathe

Kyrie, eleison,
let us breathe.


Breathing [original]

Kyrie eleison,
we can't breathe

On the Duc du Maine
we can't breathe

Shackled
we can't breathe

Wielding a whip
we can't breathe

Whipped
we can't breathe

Without opportunity
we can't breathe

Ignorant of history
we can't breathe

Holding a gun
we can't breathe

Threatened
we can't breathe

Oppressed
we can't breathe

In destruction
we can't breathe

Prejudiced
we can't breathe

Profiled
we can't breathe

Ignored
we can't breathe

Shouting
we can't breathe

LISTEN TO US
we must breathe.

With grace and strength
we can breathe

With pen and parchment
we can breathe

In song and symbol
we can breathe

Marching together
we can breathe

With fairness and justice
we can breathe

When we dream
we can breathe

Learning
we can breathe

Listening
we can breathe

When democracy works
we can breathe

When loves conquers hate
we can breathe

Kyrie, eleison,
let us breathe.





Monday, December 1, 2014

For the editors, EDITED

NOTE: Because what is more meta than second passes in an edited post?

In which we tinker


For the Insomniacs

In the caesura
between tick, and tock,
sleep lurks, sub rosa:
Two ... ten. Two ... ten. Two ...
-- tonight I do not
sleep with sleep.

First drafts suck.

For the Insomniacs

In the ceasura caesura
between tick and tock
sleep lurks sub rosa
two-ten two-ten two-
tonight I do not
sleep with sleep.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

For the insomniacs

In which we fall.


Tick. Tock.

In the ceasura  caesura 
between tick and tock
sleep lurks sub rosa
two-ten two-ten two-ten
tonight I do not
sleep with sleep.