(a few thoughts on optimism
‘the news of late has been like a mouthful of glass’
This is what came to mind when telling Jen I wanted to do this.
Something called ‘good news’
Something to counter the shit-show in the headlines.
I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to say.
Wouldn’t have anything written down tonight.
When I get this way, my thoughts get pressed together.
I can’t discern which is which, much less which has value.
The best thing to do is to give up on the thought that anything important is happening
and just write.
This is what I’ve done, most mornings, for the past month or so.
Waking at 5, making coffee, pulling the lamp down to the floor, laying out the mat, a New Yorker at one end, a couple of books at the other, my lap top in between
I guess this is how I meditate
(without looking directly at god.
–– I surround myself with those I need,
put distinct and still pieces of them in front of me
and do my best to listen.
These are a few of the things that came out of those hours.
it starts with these words:
“There are times I want to ‘whisper’ a horse and there are times I want to ‘break’ one”
1 / Optimism
the astrology reading says I’m “the day of the buoyant optimist.” this may explain why I’ve always been drawn to darkness. / to shadows
An Irish proclivity towards ‘the bright sadness’.
Shadows --- whatever it is that’s sitting there blocking the light:
Ignorance, denial, rage, racism, sexism, a fuzzy blanket, an old car, opioids, crack cocaine..
--- there are a lot of things which can get in the way
and I am drawn to mingling with all of them.
There’s some part of me that wants to break a horse and another that wants to be broken.
2 / Fear in the night / Riot in the mind
Devon says these things
or better wrote these things in a song.
They’re good words.
The right images.
If I had a horse in the race – I’m name em’ after that.
Who doesn’t want to put 50 bucks on ‘Riot in the mind’
or beat the odds on ‘Fear in the Night.’
Paul and I could start a riot.
Tropical print hats and bats --- a little shake down at the mindfulness center.
Nothing useful in the bag.
Just a bunch of turning and twisting.
Super soaker to the crotch.
A punch in the throat.
A big hug for the most stubborn horse in the room –
The one that’s all teeth and smiles --- the one with the little knife behind his back.
Paul and I just want to get our hands dirty – and our minds clean.
3 / New York
5:30 am. First light of dawn. The corner of 21st and Jackson in Queens.
The bodega opens its doors at dawn, serving coffee to all who come in to buy it.
The headlines, beside the counter, speak of bad decisions, excessive fire, an anxious world moving at a fierce clip towards its own end.
The man buys the paper,
makes his way to the subway,
descends the stairwell to the platform and boards the train
Taking a seat beside a young girl.
As the train hurls through the underbelly
he considers the various stories, the written words, the newspaper,
leaving it on the seat as he stands to exit,
tossing his empty coffee cup in a waste basket near the ticket kiosk,
he climbs the stairs back to the surface of the city.
4 / Fear & God
A friend asked a bunch of us the other night to share what god was to us.
Without much thought these words spilled out:
“God is the opposite of fear.”
A hot-pink innertube in class 5 rapids.
Something giddy and feckless.
it tickles a bit.
A sense of calm when it feels ones hurling through peril.
5 / The Plum
she takes the plum up in her hand.
the sun is just beginning to break through the trees.
she’s alone at the table,
notes of dust floating in the light.
the world is not there.
not around her --- but in her.
all she sees, senses and is thinking of – is what’s in her hand.
(the world’s not’s burning)
she feels the soft warmth of it.
the right distance.
the right light.
6 / The meek
I imagine the most hot-headed, violent, and aggressive little buggers will be the last ones here.
I pray it’s not true
but come on….. don’t we all?
all laid to ruin.
them --- on an empty street, having eaten beauty,
the untouchable sky, - belching rainbows.
innocence wolfed up,
chased with a cracked glass of sour orange juice.
the things they didn’t eat, they exhausted mentally.
there, having devoured their own tongues, digits on up…
all that remains is a hot. little. head.
smoldering,, muttering – glowing orange like a pumpkin.
the earth, looking back over its shoulder. the universe looking over its as well
--- taking a moment to consider what they’re seeing
exchanging a bemused glance
then turning back to the party.
Someone asking: “Does anyone have the time?”
“It’s dawn.” says the universe.
“Or is it dusk?”
“It’s hard to tell when the light’s this way.”
7 / Shooshing
The news of late has been like a mouth full of glass.
sometimes we just want to be whispered to.