I’m not sure what to say about all the words of the poets

P,

Sorry I am so odd sometimes. That is I am not very odd at all sometimes. And I am sorry. I go all heavyworded sometimes and I shut up sometimes I think I am being present with attachments I think and then find that no not at all and this is the way of that walk I think and I go heavy and shut up and I have no sense of humor and I shut up and I go all word and I shut up. Poor human. Wipes nose.

Here just have my gravy fried steak.

What I mean is I love you so big sometimes I got nowhere to put it but maybe on the windowsill next to Orion’s nebula, and how does that work? You are not a talking lion for real. But you are. Because Poetry.

I’m not sure what to say about all the words of the poets yet. They do work on me, but it’s overlarge. I am overlarge about it, I mean. So I shut up for stretches hoping the next time the words come to mind I’ll see it quieter. Clearer. I’ll stop trying to make them mean things. And that’s maybe when they will get to mean something. Or nothing. But sit where they can best see me.

Sometimes I get overlarge in hearing a poet–Dear You, Your lung is a genius. Your brain is a bully. Your words make the mortar clinging at the alleybricks. Your heart carves canyons along that green heal ten thousand miles or more deep. I lose my shoes. And it’s easy to see I think you must by now agree that I love you just this way wide of over much.

I hope it’s pure, anyway. I hope the gratitude finds itself fine on fine days. But how on earth remember the way to listen? Just have to shut up a while sometimes a while sometimes until I remember a devastating necessity of pavement. Grain. Kneebones. Stupids. Overtheres.

And then I can hear you again for a little while and it’s nice to talk a bit, when you catch me in the places where it’s nice and oh hello and I haven’t yet remembered just how much you mean to me, before it gets gigantic in my head again and there’s no place for a person anymore and I have to shut up again and listen.

well,

P

“we are the music makers & we are the dreamers of dreams”

P,
Distressed and fearful over the current state of our world…

In process with hearing, I want to be careful

& forgiving. I want to be as comfortable in sitting with ear & here as I am sifting the love-thought. Walks with the flower. Prayers to the god of the forest. Persistent insistence that the world of the dream is more real than what seems real, or at least of equivalent reality. Honest chats.
 
You are free.
 

The most honest question I can think of is still where are you? 

& for the moment it is as if I am whispering the question into a soaking darkness, hoping for the woods. It is clear even in their nature that there is no reason to imagine the woods are real. But I seek them with questions on the nothing air. 
Where are you, yellow moon? my tide pool?  my galaxy? my gargantuan balloon my love in the morning sky, hot air over the wilderness rabbit of mountain, along the range plains, golden & rolling in elk snow?
Where tallwise slender splintering tohoku pines, gather their coastal “in” cradle to daikannon the fishbearer, she offers eyes in earnest gratitude the peaceful ocean swells & unswells, bringing in & carrying away, seeming ever in the white of its roar drawing nearer, the mane of the lion, seas, rides a spray into shorestones; just at the hem of her gown, a temple of the golden image of the sun in pale blue sky? I mean which way to enter? Forget we are always in the forest. We have never left the forest. Here we are in the forest, & how do we enter?

The way a flickering series of photographs is a wall that wants to be kissed.

Victoria watches the entrance to the forest. Away from the street in the grass behind rot-iron, her skin & hair a liquid silver always wearing the colors of the sky & the earth below & supplicant at hand. There is a question to address before proceeding into the shade of the hickory & bramble.

The question cannot be remembered, nor can it be forgotten. It cannot be heard when spoken. It cannot be spoken after it is heard. It is impossible to symbolize into language, because it is a question born only into here, & language necessitates a “there” which is not “here” & so language may not understand “here” because “here” also makes requirement on “there” & there becomes a “there” in our “here” which is part of what’s here, but here, there is “there” here, & we cannot resist the light of the paradox: electric, passionate receptors & nerves; that there is here a “there” here, we begin to swoon over the paradox. The way a flickering series of photographs is a wall that wants to be kissed.
 
& so here we are in the midst of the illusion, caught in the cataclysm of universe wrought in supertransformidable collision of particle & mind (each made real by the other).
Already in the forest. The trees seem so properly real here, over there, & we’ve lost the question again, but now at least we are a “we.” & we are resting at a busted wood & iron bench in the shade along a small stone stepping walk toward a sound of water, where there must be a fountain just above.
Victoria, out in the grass, & from here, her face looks like the leaves & her body the bodies of the trees. Her hair carries the white of a cloud. Where are you? This is not the question.
 
Distressed and fearful over the current state of our world…

We are not here, though we have understood ourselves to be always here,

& while it is true that wherever we are, here we are, there is also a way in which we are always seeking an explanation of where we are & can tend to start thinking the explanation is meant to occupy the space of “here,” somehow in place of “here” comes a story about “here” & the story becomes “here” & we don’t know where we are anymore; even though that’s pretty much where we are, we don’t know that, & so we’re lost & also always here; we are lost, here, where we always are, we are always in this “here” & we are always lost here; we are here & we aren’t certain we are here or where “here” is or if we are even there, or, if we are thinking that it is a “there,” the here that we wonder where it is, because we are seeking it “there,” can never be “here,” & so must come to think of “here” as “here” & not as “there” & then to not think of it at all. & to be here. & not really to be here, but. We just are. & we don’t know that. 
 
But we know this: that we don’t know that. We know this & we do not know that, but that we know this, we color this as that & then we know that. By knowing this, we know that. We are not lost: here we are knowing this & that! 
 

The trees are real.

They are not here. I have dreamed them. Welcome. The fountain is just above. Remember how the wind feels in the spring by the water, how it is the way the flowers speak to one another, & how you may listen, & how the other life listens when the flowers & the wind are speaking.
Distressed and fearful over the current state of our world…

Remember to forget this

& to listen to the speaking of the flowers & to become that instead of this about about the about about the tongues of the flowers scattered to the currents in air the sunlight makes by spinning low at the waters at the mountain top emerald of St. Mary.

Shed & shed further & shed further & still further,

any reliance we may have in these sorts of explanations. We forget them as quickly as we can. We forgive them & we do not throw them away nor distrust nor discredit them, we seek to see without… & prior… prefiguring framework… pure experiential unknowing… before we dreamed of returning… when we were just “here”… before we were beginning… when we were here. Here we are. This tree is not real either. We let go of thought. We cannot remember how to say what is witnessed on our passage. It is so purely here, & we are so murked in “there.”
 

It becomes a forest,

only as another equal illusion. The forest is not an illusion & it is not real & it is both real & unreal & it is neither unreal nor real. The forest is a model of reality, just as is the city or the river or the planets or the bathtub; & in science there is a saying that “all models are wrong”

The forest is wrong.

No. The forest is not wrong. The forest is right as the forest. But in being “everything” it fails. & if it fails to be everything, it cannot properly be anything, since it represents everything but isn’t, it represents, then, by design, an everything that is not an everything but only a something & an everything that isn’t an everything isn’t everything, & can’t be relied on in any regard as to how it is that everything happens. It is very reliable as a something inside the everything that behaves as it—as itself—behaves: the forest & the trees. But when we see everything, we can be certain we will know how to deal with all of this, so we needn’t worry over all we do not now see. Soon enough, everything will tell us. As soon as we know we are here, everything will tell us. & we already know what everything is going to say, that it’s all going to be okay But we still need to hear it. That’s how we’ll know it’s true.
Distressed and fearful over the current state of our world…
 
Safe covered to the probably eye of like a hawk, not so worried over snakes, lazy in a little nothing breeze in warm sun gentle shade & roses.
 
& nobody saw.
 
,
P

your mostly face

P,

What is passing and what is put? I hear these voices, voices with big names, real names, real voices, real people, big or little, real. To sing it. And what else? Nothing. Whatever is necessary to sing is enough. Air? Wine? Sleep? Get to the point of singing. Beauty has no form. I’m not going to explain.

The singer settles into words like bed

So you closely put your mostly face to a receptive nearly almost ears. And it hears what you bleed. Now, the ribbons are gold and silver, and you must communicate the heart of the matter of the moment of your mind. Yes, you must. And it will sound like silver gold, will it? Put your face close to your face. Then a song will sing into all the world. And all the world will be countless flowers. And rain.

Only what you find. That metallic table, or the bulbous wine glass. Knock on the door of these things and your breath is colors. Obscurity? For the rich.

Everything goes and everything comes. I’m still in the dark before dawn, having made breakfast ― eggs, toast, avocado, goat cheese, butter, pink salt, pepper ― and the heavy gold curtains are parted a couple feet in anticipation of what other than blue out of the black. And between a documentary on the DPRK (then breakfast) and one on Sufism, the mandate of a true faith system, non-corrosive to the individual path, appeared ever-so-lightly available: a lifestyle informed by all experiences, exclusive only to the extent that a human must exercise judgment or die. So, not to live well ― suffering dramatic advances and setbacks ― but to live, as colored by every moment as the sky.

,
P

Poem About History

P,

Inspired by June Jordan’s “Poem About My Rights”

I am the history of my thoughts too loud I am the history of hysteria I am the history of nervous system breakdown I am the history of multiple identities I am the history of multi-sexuality hi-curiosity and straight privilege I am the history of my face a wall a don’t fuck with me I am the history of blaming myself for what he did I am the history of sexual abuse I am the history of secondary survivors I am the history of silence I am the history of Prozac and welbutrin and paxil I am the history of why are you so anxious because I am the history of silence of abuse of abusers of violence I am the history of privilege I am the history of too small so sweet small voice I am the history of doormat of crazy of okay I am the history of taking care of you you never me grandma wailing mom screaming I am the history of you. I am the history of choose why can’t you choose I am the history of apologies I am the history of hey baby’s I am the history of wanna fuck I am the history of your dick is not my fault I am the history of mouth shut making myself wrong of witness

But I do not consent to the voice that haunts me: you coward I do not consent to the secondary abuse I do not consent to feeling like a fraud I do not consent to your silence I do not consent to this is my fault I do not consent to berate myself at the bus stop in my coffee in my sheets at night I do not consent to the assault on my mind

My voice my heart my neurotransmitters are not wrong

They are my own my own my own

 

,
P

“I don’t know how to not forge identity through association”

P,

Somewhere in some Dharma Art talk, Trungpa says a thing like that one shouldn’t probably name oneself Artist. I remember reading it for Reed Bye’s class & putting a bunch of underlines & circles around it with copious argumentative notes in the margins. What I insisted for a while in discussion afterwards was that Trungpa can say whatever the fuck he wants—but that I had chosen a particular inward path that had led also to a lot of outward path & a lot of that path is a struggle (had I chosen?/ well the path is being walked & the body does so, joyfully or no), that relationships had gone by a brittle wayside, that the games that get you real-paid fall off, that I pour so much of my faith onto those hours of empty-wall-empty-page-roiling-self-emptyself-roiling, & the notion that this is somehow a good thing to do, that it helps this body that is observing this something that is its part of the everything to witness to help in some way the body of outside the body or in or I don’t know but, you know what, I’ve come a long way since believing the voices of those who say “proclaim not thyself an artist,” from youth immemorial until just this morning & will believe them no longer.

Reed tilted his ear, seemed to me like he were just putting his nose down from a fresh twig of jasmine, & said. That makes a lot of sense. I think Trungpa was probably talking to a lot of established people who were at least outwardly fond of their own opinions, for whom the name artist was a social identity & who seemed to him to heap scorn on others they deemed “lesser than.” & used the name of Artist to kind of swing their egos around. I don’t think he would be asking you to deny coming to a sense of yourself through struggle. 

I argued a little sideways for a little longer & eventually acquiesced to Reed’s way of suggesting, Sometimes we just listen for a while first & later we discover where we have differences.

‘Surrounded by Artists’ can be a pretty beautiful place, but also forgetful & easy. Boulder was an easy place to wake up inspired, to go out inspired, to go in spired. Those willing to go along with you on some wild hare of imaginative what-not seem to spring up out of the cracks in the sidewalk. If none of your friends are there to say insane shit to you, there’s plenty of strangers that will oblige. It can start to feel normal. Like this is what the planet is like.

This is what the planet is like.

But there’s a way among artists of getting isolated from the big old world where nobody’s interested in your long-ass tracks & angsty buddhism. & there’s that way that usually we think of ourselves as outsiders, marginalia, misfits—but when we’re in a club of misfits, where do we go to feed that comfortable feeling of souring in a dark corner, utterly misunderstood. I need that feeling of being alone to be there, because it’s a real thing in the physical law of forces—nothing touches anything. If I can’t feel that, if I’m in a club, I start considering myself pretty much bullshit from lung to tongue.

& if I’m not in the dark sometimes, a lot of the time, how will my songs complete the cycle of yearning, sound sweet, the way I mean them to?

& I can become complacent with my own creative activities. Get to putting flyers up for the club meetings, thinking this is how to make art.

& now here I be sitting in some local coffee whatever by a river in Texas where I like to come & notice how many folks like to sing along with Fleet Foxes also! There’s been some kind of Identity-creep. It’s just happened & I’m not planning to lop it off at the resistances. I like the old warehouse windows here. I like the lighbulbs & high walls & openness & attention to space.

Music seems all about gigs.

There’s good & shitty bands.

I don’t see a lot of people just connecting with their crafts. I don’t see a lot of people set momentarily free into their instruments. Maybe I will find this. But I miss it.

Poetry is mostly slam. & there’s some fancy-folk too, who like to speak soft & make their rooms feel important.

Not much inbetween.

I miss the places where poetry wasn’t supposed to be something & just was something together with anybody together there with it. You know, a fun time listening. Fun in exposing the human part of the human to the humans. 

I miss that. I mean it fuels me. I remember who my friends are because I’m a little perturbed by the desire so many seem to have to force whatever I’m trying to engage with them into their own preconceptions. If you’re going to ask me a question, & I give you an answer, why does it feel necessary to you (this generic you) to immediately freak out that I didn’t answer on your terms? Sorry I have different parameters. Not sorry, but sorry we can’t see each other right now. I won’t try to correct your question if you’ll agree not to start growling at me like an angry chihuahua when I give you my answer.

Sometimes I guess this is just my ego—why don’t you just immediately get me, or agree with yourself that getting me is up to you, & getting you is up to me? 

But it’s also a clear communication to me about the belonging I have felt in the Tape House, with Rumpilots, among the Poets. I know I’m a calm drink of quiet water, but the home I hold to is much as rabble in the street. Forging identity through association. Well… if there can be a JUST applied here, I think I know what you mean, because there is more to identity than association—there is one’s inner work, yes? But even in the house one associates identity through attention to the surfaces of the walls & shelves & countertops & instruments. There are the things lying around because we place them there because we want to see them there & they tell us about ourselves—some story. There are the things lying around because we are always (or regularly) interacting with them: they tell us what direction we’re heading. Sometime’s they embarrass us because they are not the things we hope to always be engaged with. Sometimes they fill us with pride when we take some mental photograph of “this is my room now… you can tell what kind of person I am by my room… & yes I don’t mind this at all.”

I appreciated much your decision in the piece you sent to lay out not the outer-cultivation of a Buddhism, but the work of seeing feeling as it stands & not judging it out of the work. Perhaps the argument-posture towards the “correcting” attitude… well I was going to say something else, but now I’m thinking that you were talking to yourself—that this voice was your own voice telling you what it thought you were “supposed” to be feeling… or how you intend to apply philosophy towards the feeling… as well as anyone who might get in on that process of admonishment with you. I don’t feel certain about the assessment, but it’s a thought. 

Much Love,

P