“Wisdom comes through suffering.\ Trouble, with its memories of pain,\ Drips in our hearts as we try to sleep,\ So men against their will\ Learn to practice moderation” (Aeschylus, Agamemnon, l. 179).

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“‘Master, are you a deva?’ [a brahman asked the Buddha]. ‘No, brahman, I am not a deva’ [the Buddha replied]. ‘Are you a gandhabba?’ ‘No…’ ‘… a yakkha?’ ‘No…’ ‘… a human being?’ ‘No, brahman, I am not a human being.’ ‘Then what sort of being are you?’ ‘I’m awake.'” (AN 4.36)

after a broken wedding

half awake
half asleep
wandering through
empty old streets
cannons
of the shuddering past
sunlight flickering
waves waving past
a girl smiling
something
like all the others
mellifluous voices
and eyes
dance before her
a drink too many
a phone call missed
exhaustingly worried thoughts
unceasing
forgetting
or trying to forget
an angry other
the pressure
of mothers
sad loneliness
all around

the mirror in which life reflects me…

the mirror
in which
life reflects me
is extraordinarily
unfamiliar;
startled
i wake
and
startled
pass the mirror
and am reminded
of my form
in the dreamed present;
somehow trusted,
i say ‘i’
and consider
indicative of you
my perceptions
of a ‘you’,
reflections
in the nightmarishly
pleasurable
mirror
of these eyes
a 2-dimensional
world
extrapolated 3-dimensional
and given meaning
out of nauseatingly
unsettling habit
feelings
dreams
thoughts
images
arise
abide
decay
all of their own
momentum.

nothing is intoxicating
if you look at it coldly,
clearly enough.

time forgets…

time forgets
how to speak
how to love
how to think
images sleepily
manifest
the moment
drunkenly
stumbling
into crassness
or beauty
worship
o worship
for none
but the hell of the
boiler-room brain
glared back at
cursed at
imprisoned
oranges
gliding
tempting
commands
accidents perpetual
recompense
for the twisted
sadism
of the non-smilers
closed closet
dark room
dark cave
singly lit
and lounging
intensely
intent
upon some such thing
as gardens
or war fields
rippling ripping
your poor sickness
of a mind
made green
render blue skies
infinite
watched atop
the firs
all of the
private things
of love’s rolling over
daisied
focused
it’s easy
too easy
intoxicating
benevolence
not captured
really
in tin cans
slogans
and phraseology
one minute
a thousand
of habits
and denials
i’m forgetting
slowly
soon
i hope
i’ll forget.