Arguing Over the Light

All religions, all this singing, 
one song. Rumi
 1. A poet I met once, Leslie Scalapino, said “stay in continual conceptual rebellion.” She thought we must “re-form” our minds, “make it new, every day,” as Pound put it, or fall for the snake oil routines of all the drummers and askers around us. “No” to [Read More...]

They Walk Into the Place Where (a reflection on immigration)

They walk into the place carrying a bandana, carrying a balaclava, carrying a bordada made by abuela. They walk into the place that burns the soles of huaraches, the soles of tennis shoes into twisted rubber. They walk into the place carrying an extra tee shirt. An extra dress for a hija. They walk into [Read More...]

Here, In This Flow

The turtles go out of their water this time of year, slow on roadways, slow to mating somewhere, or slow to dates with car tires. No, there’s no enlightenment– there’s no one there. (That’s Buddhism 101 each day teaches.) No, there’s no virtue– there’s no one there. Only being. Lost in this movement I rub [Read More...]

Our Place in the Alhambra

1. Go ahead, climb up the Alhambra brick– taxis can’t come here, and the effort it takes is only as much as you have in mind. 2. How often we’ve fallen for another algorithm for bliss, the snake oil shill of camphor shadows. Enough. The book is there now, a shining blossom, big as a [Read More...]

Incarceration Nation

Incarceration nation, where did you put your young men? You put them in a plea bargain; you put them in a felony record; you put them out of your mind. Incarceration nation, your heart is in a prison cell; your future is in a prison cell; your conscience is in a prison cell. Incarceration nation, [Read More...]

Benediction for the Wind (on the occasion of a killer tornado)

What better way to get people praying than to remind us of random chance? What better way than the cold logic of air rising, falling, killing here, not there; this one, not that. Where I come from we name them by a year: 2011, 1957, 1925, and remember deaths, 695, 255, 12. What better way [Read More...]

A Bad Day for Theocracy (14 May 2013, marriage equality Minnesota)

A bad day for creeds; a bad day for stares; a bad day for blind obedience to blundering oracles, as Henry put it long ago. A bad day for obedience. A bad day for “act like us.” Why not, Ralph asked, long ago, why not behold god and nature face to face with our own [Read More...]

A Former Member Asks the Minister for a Favor

She says her family shuns her. She says it has something to do with God. She says the cancer has gone way too far. She says when her brother died the family pastor said he went straight to hell and “Let that be a lesson.” She says, “Will you do my funeral?” A light rain [Read More...]

Softballing with Spinoza

If a triangle could speak, it would say . . . that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular. Thus each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped. ~ Baruch Spinoza I [Read More...]

Elegy for April 22 and Richie Havens

Some days are like others And some days Richie Havens dies.  It’s more Than a dream that a Guitar can sigh and take Some lucky ones with it.  Muddy. Richie. Robert– Temples. Churches. BP, They bow before the hands That move those strings.  Even the devil, money  Himself, will say uncle To one song like [Read More...]


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