Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Dalai Lama Takes The D Train

Subway meditation

as the subconscious passes through

synapses to

capillaries deep beneath city streets

deep beneath dreams within asphalt skin

lost beneath layers of ozone killing exhaust

linger like smoke halos in the dark

cement shields these very worm holes

where we shoot through like red blood cells

speeding down tracks this side of hell we can’t see

the veins of the city

looking out windows to see only black

so we quietly close our eyes

ignore all advertising

lean back

and dream of the world above

with the faith that we’re all going the right way

and we’ll reach the light of the next station eventually.

The Temples of Khajuraho

The people are all dead

the architects, the kings, the queens

and all their tireless sculptors


there have been so many spins of this karmic wheel

that the slaves who built these temples are probably dizzy being kings themselves today

their souls are free

but the body of their work remains here in Khajuraho

where their sandstone scenes stand tall

their Shivas and Vishnus and elephant faced gods

and horny nymphs still breathe

and orgy all around these temple walls

that can withstand the winds and monsoons of a millenium

and never sleep and never swoon

and all the king’s power has become but a footnote

on a sign outside the gates of these temples he had built.

The artist’s chisel which etched out the dreams of the gods

awake our ages to the dream of a thousand years.

All’s Fair In Love and Betting

“You’re really unhealthy. You’ll be dead in less than three years,” she told him.

“Thanks, doctor,” Matt said, before putting his beer to his lips and gulping down the rest of the bottle. He got up, using the armrest of the couch to steady himself. Matt was pretty drunk. He walked to the fridge for another beer.

“I’m not kidding!” she called after him, her words hitting the back of his head. He didn’t respond. Tanya waited till her boyfriend got back to the living room before asking, “You didn’t get me one?”

“I didn’t think you were drinking. You’re sitting here criticizing me for drinking too much and now you wanna beer?”

“You drink too much. I don’t drink too much. It’s your problem not mine.”

“I don’t drink too much, I drink just the right amount.”

“You should really drink less. And sleep more. You’re gonna die soon, three years, you’ll be dead.”

“I’ll bet you a thousand dollars that I’m not dead in three years.”

“Ok.” Tanya put her pinky out to bet on his mortality not to be cruel, but to make a point that she really worried about her boyfriend’s health.

“Ok.” Matt linked pinky fingers with her to seal the bet. He started laughing. “I can’t believe you bet me this, how can you win If I’m alive in three years, you’ll owe me a thousand dollars and if I’m dead, how do you expect me to pay you?”

“You put it in your will.”

“You’ve really thought this through, should I be worried? When you say I’m going to be dead in three years, do you mean you’re planning on killing me in three years?”

“I don’t need to kill you, you’re killing yourself.”

“Hey, let me enjoy my drink, alright? It’s Friday night, I’m watching a hockey game, I’m not hurting anyone.”

“Just yourself.”

“Come on. Let a man drink in peace. If you’re nice to me, I might let you off the bet.”

“What do you mean?” she asked him.

“I mean, if and when I turn forty, I won’t ask you for the thousand dollars you’ll owe me.”

“What do you mean, owe you? You just said it’s a bad bet and…”

“But you still bet. You pinky swore bet. You can’t bet and then plan to welsh. There goes all trust in betting with you ever again.”

“But you said it was an unfair bet.”

“Still, it’s not my fault you made the bet. Buyer beware, beter beware, all’s fair in love and betting.”

“I don’t think it is. I think if you loved me, you wouldn’t be expecting to win this bet.”

“I think if you loved me you would want me to win this bet. I mean, let’s not forget that we’re betting on when I’m going to die and you took the under. As in you expect me under ground in less than three years. Thanks.”

“Not underground, I thought you wanted to be cremated.”

“Can we get off the topic of my death and let me watch a hockey game?”

“Fine. Watch professionals try and kill each other. Fine. I can just sit here and watch an amateur.”

Matt sat watching the game, saying nothing. Tanya lit a cigarette, leaned back on the couch and wondered what would come first: his death, or, their breakup. Either way, she was betting against him.

Paddleboating on the Sea of Tranquility

Doing backstrokes down the stream of consciousness

getting tangled in an eddy and jumping in

to find the water is not a stream but a time machine

taking me to places

I thought I’d never been

but here I am tomorrow

swirling in pools of liquified thoughts that bubble up like Old Faithful

shooting off every forty-two minutes and stinking like sulfur

welcome to the depths of my mind

I wish I wasn’t so shallow

and didn’t have to resort to jumping overboard

to chase my inspiration down the rabbit hole

that I was steady at the helm

steering us expertly through the shoals and shallows

of a stream that picks up steam

into a river that carries all the way to an ocean that could drown the moon

the sea of tranquility is not above me but all around me inside me

I paddle boat across to get to the lip of the sea

look down and see the earth that looks so small it must be written in the lower case

and I know if the blue earth can be so small how big a blue whale

and I feel big cause I feel so small

all my problems are small

all my worries aren’t worth the pebble I pick up to skip across the skin of the sea.

Swearing on a Jefferson Bible


the missing link

between the big bang

and creationism

between Divine design

and Darwinism

and Jefferson took out all the miracles from his Bible

yet he still called Jesus: He

Jefferson edited a Bible Sergeant Joe Friday woulda loved

just the facts, ma’am

the Jefferson Bible is more believable

but I enter each church like I enter each theater

with a suspension of disbelief

The Jefferson Bible misses all the magic

like watching Avatar on your cellphone

but don’t you just love the miracle itself

that you can watch movies on your phone

while taking pictures of yourself watching the movie

while posting pictures

for the whole world to see

if Jesus had a cellphone

Thomas Jefferson wouldn’t have believed it.

Random Echo

This cosmos is playful

disguising itself as gods and chaos

still these canyon walls always echo

what I shout at it.

I’ll start believing in the chaos theory

when my shout, “Hello!”

comes back as, “Stop shouting at me!”

One plus one always equals two

though I heard a rumor that someone said it was three

unless you’re talking two conceiving three

as in making babies

I’ll trust my abacus

to count beads one two three.

Still there are mysteries

that lie inside me

answers like the spoken word

never to be seen

I don’t need to see the tree to know that it’s there

while I lie under its shadow

like I don’t need to see the breeze to feel her there

while I hide my soul in her shadow

while I try to breathe under water

I don’t need to believe that I can’t breathe

with my lungs filling with water

my feet are in control

kicking madly

til I just stand up

and realize

I was drowning

in a bath tub.

And when I rise

I take in as much air as my lungs can take

cause though I don’t see what I need

I know how to breathe.

Dreams In The Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear

Why do you put dream catchers hanging from rear view mirrors

are you trying to look back at traffic with a sense of deja vu?

As appropriate as radio stations interrupting music

to tell you how much uninterrupted music they play.

Like what do you get the person who has got everything?


It’s guaranteed the one thing he hasn’t got.

Einstein said

“God does not play dice with the universe”

but what about Job?

God took the Devil’s wager there

what’s to say He hasn’t some other bets on the side?

This universe is so small

the speed limit increases as you drive through it

knowing no holy book

serves as God’s best press release

when He takes a bow every night

with a sunset so spectacular

even the visiting fans give it a standing ovation.

Beware of Oncoming Horizon

Few walk up escalators

most choose to stand

adjust their reflections in the mirror

talk behind them to their friends

or stare straight ahead to where this is all going

the end

the top of the escalator

where awaits a travel agency

the window horizon inches closer

as the escalator treadmill folds in on itself

and stairs disappear one at a time at the top

the karma of the escalator

the dharma of the mall

sometimes we need time like a penny needs oxygen

and sometimes we need time like a junkie needs heroin

mainlining minutes like they are hours

they’re certainly not ours any more

they’re rotten

like the domes of cathedrals

the wind and the rain having painted the copper green

in the pictures of Europe on the travel agency’s window

getting closer and closer

though I get no closer to Europe

cause when I reach the top of this escalator

I turn right to get on another escalator to go up to the next floor.

The Taste of Beer

Why must life be bittersweet?

you ask me between sips of beer.

I don’t even know my feet

but this much I did hear:

think of life as a song

you can’t listen to the same note too long.

Music needs flats and sharps

sometimes horns, sometimes harps.

Devour life, this movable feast

love the north, west, south and east.

Alone, salt and pepper we’d never eat

but look how they spice up the meat.

See the forest in the tree

and the roots on which she feeds

a tree at her most beautiful

wearing this death mask of fall.

The Safest City In America

The police in Goberspit, New Hampshire are proud to say they’ve never worked a day in their lives. You will never see a police car patrolling the streets of Goberspit, just like you will never see a cop walking any kind of beat, in fact, most days, they don’t even bother going in to work at the police station at all.

“What’s the point getting up going all the way across town to the station when everyone knows my phone number? If anyone was to really commit a crime, I’m sure they’d have the good decency to call their chief of police, or even just drop by my home to give me the heads up. Or, they could wait outside the police station for someone to show up eventually. We’re always there Tuesday nights, cause, Tuesday nights are poker nights at the station, so, if you’re going to commit a crime in town, and you wanna make sure we’ve got police in the station, do it on Tuesdays, preferably around 11:30 when the game’s breaking up.”

Police around the world laughed at this particular town’s approach to law enforcement. They only paid Chief McKrackin, who only put on his uniform to take pictures for his Christmas cards. The deputies were a hodgepodge of volunteers who mainly just showed up for the poker games. But, no one could argue with Chief McKrackin’s record for cases solved. In the cases solved department, the good chief is batting a thousand. He’s one for one.

The one crime ever committed in Goberspit during the twenty-seven years Jake McKrackin has been chief was solved in under an hour. Frank Cutchins had stolen Martha Hapsley’s umbrella from the Food Mart’s umbrella bin. Frank had felt so bad about it, he drove straight from the Food Mart to the police station to confess. He was lucky to catch Chief McKrakin as he was leaving for the day. It was 9:05 in the morning.

“I don’t want to be the one who messes things up. I didn’t even think about it when I took the umbrella. I just saw that it was raining I saw the umbrella and I took it. But as I got in the car, dry, thanks to the umbrella, I felt terrible, because I realized I had just stolen something, and that makes me the first criminal in this town and it’s like the first piece of garbage on the ground, suddenly the whole ground is covered in garbage. I don’t want to be that first piece of garbage. I steal an umbrella today, suddenly, there’s graffiti every where, everyone is on drugs, turning into murderous zombies. No thanks. Here is the umbrella, please arrest me, you have my full confession.” Frank fessed up.

“Why didn’t you just return the umbrella back to the bin? Then it wouldn’t be a crime.”

“Then I would have gotten wet. It’s raining.”

“You would rather be dry and arrested than wet and innocent?”

“Apparently, yes.” Frank scratched his nose. It was suddenly very itchy and no amount of scratching could get it to stop.

“You wanna spend a night in jail?”

And just like that, the itching stopped. Frank lowered his hand from his face and said, “Yes, I do.”

From that night on, the town learned that crime doesn’t pay. You commit a crime, you go to jail.

Frank died ten years later, proud to the end that he had protected his beloved town from moral decay.

But then Billy moved in. Billy was the seventeen year old son of Bob and Judy Watson who had moved from Boston following his father’s demotion to Goberspit. At first, the townspeople of Goberspit forgave Billy his trespassings, believing once the boy got to know the culture of the town, he would adopt from his crude city ways, to their refined sense of civic duty.

“Excuse me, son, you dropped this,” said Marv Tooks, picking up the empty coke can Billy had tossed on the park ground.

“Yeah, I’m done with it,” Billy laughed and walked off. Marv stood, holding the empty coke can, wondering if he should teach the boy a lesson, or throw the can into the garbage. He figured the boy would learn from someone else, tossed the can in the trash and continued with his five mile run.

A little farther through the park, Billy discarded a chocolate bar wrapper in the middle of the baseball diamond’s infield. Later that morning, two boys came to practice pitching. One boy, Greg Benner, stood on the mound, finishing his juice box before setting to pitching. He saw the candy wrapper, figured, that’s what you do with stuff you don’t want, and tossed the juice box on the ground before he tossed his first pitch.

Six months later Goberspit would record its first murder. Tony Baberspier would toss Billy bound and gagged into the river, hoping to rid the town of its evil.