October 6, 2005

fall haikus

I got inspired by Twozdai's pretty much haiku-only blog, and thought I would do a post suburb_hubcaps style:

The bus baby screams
I think I'll get used to it
My own self screaming

End of a hard day
Everything went wrong
Maybe it was me

Shaky from hunger
A barfy feeling alights
What will be open?

Always wondering
Would they talk to me or not?
But I hardly care

They are so well groomed
Take so much care every morning
I just make coffee

I am a good friend
I tease, but sometimes too much
Without compassion

A prince in public
Not everyone agrees
Well, I am learning

Two girls on the bus
One slides in to fill the gap
"Hello," she giggles

So responsible
Such official exercise
People with gym bags

So many haircuts
Presenting ourselves just so
Or we're just lazy

Pain is a message
I don't have to like it much
Just have to listen

It is October
The time to smash a pumpkin
Get used to the cold

any favorites?

July 24, 2005

another sister poem: "for d"

I reread through the Elisabeth poems today, had to share this one:

This is good shit, people, when you're doing nothing but meditating for a year you get deep into shit I guess.

In case you're wondering...I'm D, and yes she really did scream FUCK YOU at me the day she took refuge and became a Buddhist, and yes, I most certainly deserved it.

"For D"

the handle broke off the mug you gave me
nothing to hold onto
there is nothing to hold onto

certainly you dwell in the inner
chamber of my heart
cut off from prying eyes
shielded in anonymity
they can't see you
but your home is here
you said, "Take care of yourself!"
and I screamed, "FUCK YOU!"
this was the day I became Buddhist
a heart exapnds and contracts
many times in one lifetime
perhaps you have felt alternately
dangled and squeezed
but you were never ousted outright
home is home, after all
this indestructible heart will house you
through all of our wanderings
"hacking it out in El Samsaro"
for as long as we remain confused
until the moment of waking into freedom
when an ordinary human heart
cannot contain the depth and breadth
of all the world's knowing and burning
at that time
dwelling nowhere
we will pervade
the whole of space

July 16, 2005

another sister poem: the daughters i'll never have

Another poem written by my lovely sister in retreat was requested, so I think I will post one of my favorites. It's called

Registry of Names for the Daughters I'll Never Have

The Good Girls The Artists Won't be Around to Hate Me Later
Xyla (Zi-La)

July 6, 2005

poetry reprisal revue

This last christmas, I wrote a special poetry Christmas card for all my friends and family (and even sent it to the one person who could even remotely qualify as an enemy). You can download the .pdf (with the illustrations, it's about 400k) here. However, one of the poems was called Ragged, Joyful, and it goes something like this:

Ragged, Joyful

I�m a ragged joyful lonely man
am finally a man (damn, I am!)

All my cooking skills devolved
to peanut butter sandwiches
in my warm quiet house.

Everything here is where I left it.

Including the laundry.

My broken parts crackle in a chair
reading novels about old men with broken dreams.

Now I�m riding a bike.
Mostly avoiding such impact.

At least I quit smoking
and reading too much into meaningful looks
and started praying again.

To my great surprise, a month or so later, my sister, who is in three-year retreat in upstate New York, wrote me a similar chapbook, which I may yet publish, or write a sentence longer than this one.

The point though, is that she wrote a reprisal to my poem, in the style of a Tibetan Buddhist nun. Even by myself in a room as I read it, I could not disguise my explosion of delight at reading it:

Ragged, Joyful Reprise

I'm a ragged joyful lonely nun
well, almost a nun (shouldn't jump the gun)

All my social skills devolved
to concise notes scrawled
in the brief spaces between.

Everything here is how I make it.

Including the tormas.

My broken parts cartwheel in my consciousness
reading namtars about old yogins who conquered craving.

Now I'm 'riding the horse of diligence'

Mostly falling off a lot.

At least I quit speaking
and reading so much into my own delusion
and started to feel my heart again.

As if that wasn't enough, I wrote an poem called we each have our own faithless jewels. A damn sad poem, it goes like this:

we each have our own faithless jewels

we each have our own faithless jewels

our own habits we won't admit
our own restlessness we won't fight
our own justice we hope will be performed
our own beasts with meat juice on their lips

who has more secret hurts?
surely she is the winner.
who was helped or healed the most?
surely he is lost.

And then, incredibly, in the comments, a dear friend of mine from Colorado wrote another reprisal of a poem of mine! It's a silly version that I think he wrote to cheer me up, but actually makes a great "other half" to the original. His killer version goes:

faithless jewels reprisal

We each have our own family jewels
our own nun's habit that doesn't fit
our own lantern we won't light
our own performance we hope to do justice
our own juicey lips with which we kiss the meat beasts

who more has hurt the secret?
Shirley, she is the winner
He who was most lost healed Shirley

I thought those poems were so sweet and touched me so deeply that I wanted to record them here.

Eventually I will publish all of the excellent poems and illustrations my sister sent me in her two tiny chapbooks since she's been in retreat. But I procrastinated doing this post since March, so don't hold your breath.

Okay, hold your breath for my sister's poetry. It's worth it.

April 9, 2005

how will it end?

if I start
something then
I want to know
for entropy's sake
in a casket, a basket?
some ataxia that's on the attack?
it always ends! til 7:30 do us part
and then some delay, that's shifted into decay
some endings, for the beginnings I've piled up
a friendship set out in the bow of a viking funeral ship
laid with all its riches and flame slurping its dragon prow
or our very special birth certificate beginning, or the finest big bang
if I ask you very solemnly and with respect will you tell me how will it end?
how will it end, my friend?
how will it end?


March 17, 2005

we each have our own faithless jewels

we each have our own faithless jewels

our own habits we won't admit
our own restlessness we won't fight
our own justice we hope will be performed
our own beasts with meat juice on their lips

who has more secret hurts?
surely she is the winner.
who was helped or healed the most?
surely he is lost.


July 31, 2004

inexplicable tinyblog poetry ii

boy do I miss myself.

I remember, back in the day when I was myself, me and myself we'd...
oh those were the days back in the day with myself
talking to myself and uhhh feeling myself
me, myself and I are all missing myself
those golden days of myself
I used to be so...
we and us including myself we were so...
we used to build snow selves and pretend they were parson brown
hey myself I used to see you all the time
now you hardly ever call me or write
myself I looked at your name so many times it just looked like some
funny word from mars
a word I'd tell my kids not to say myself cause
you're a sicko myself, sometimes frantic
like a spastic furry muppet i know
it was me who said goodbye, but
do I miss myself.

May 3, 2004

in my new life as a householder: shlock seven

In my new life as a householder I experience an unprecedented mix of contentment and restlessness. In my new life I'm really trying to improve. In my new life I am more aware of being one fly on an incredibly large pile of droppings. In my new life I know there is no one like me.


in my new life as a householder: shlock six

In my new life as a householder I feel so helpless to do anything in the realm of politics. I can't even convice my childhood friend that the president is a dangerous idiot. This murderous profiteering is business as usual, I guess.

In my new life as a householder I actually get enough sleep sometimes.

In my new life as a householder, I have a loyal and forgiving wife. She smacks me on the head, which is sometimes okay, and sometimes secretly makes me feel humiliated and angry. She's very sexy and does all kinds of things that I absolutely love with very little persuading. We cook nettles and lamb and she clings to me with complete abandon.

In my new life I get a lot more done.

In my new life I'm amazed at the possibilities.

April 30, 2004

in my new life as a householder: shlock five

In my new life as a householder, I'm pretty selective about what I read. I don't have much time and I read plenty of pulp as a kid. The problem is, that I don't have the fortitude for most of the classics. I feel stupid because I literally cannot get past page three of any book by James Joyce. I'm sure he made a great contibution to fiction, but I'll just have to read the people he influenced. I guiltily stick to modern Pulitzer winners with their restrained cultural prose (and undeniable skill) hoping to find that golden balance between revolutionary and readable.

in my new life as a householder: shlock four

In my new life as a householder, sometimes I'm acutely aware of all I'm missing. I wonder if I'm being dampened, like my creativity could go off like a rocket now that my Saturn is returning or something, and I could be writing and doing business and wooing expatriate plus-size models in Nepal. I see Richard Gere at the Dalai Lama's Kalachakra empowerment, and he actually comes up to me and says he really digs the teaching work I'm doing in prisons and wants to know if he can get involved. I greet him a little coolly in spite of myself. I'm not sure I want this prison thing to be the next celebrity 'thing'. Besides, Richard doesn't really pick projects that I feel are in line with his Buddhist ideals. I give him a card and tell him to call the PrisonMind office. He seems genuinely excited at this blatant brush-off.

householder interlude: what is a shlock?

Well, in short, it's a word made up by Loverzan. It's roughly translated as hunk, but usually is used to describe some quantity between a teaspoon and three tablespoons of some semi-liquid (like yogurt or sour cream).

In this case, I am mixing that meaning with the Tibetan word shloka, which is basically translated as stanza, and usually means a group of four lines in a Tibetan prayer, poem or liturgy.

April 29, 2004

in my new life as a householder: shlock three

In my new life as a householder, my newest fascination is weeding. It's sort of like a waste of time, but also very pragmatic. And also dirty. I like that. I won't have a single pair of nice pants soon. I do not weed with a trowel, just my grubby fingers. I should probably use a trowel for morning glories and horsetails; they are tenacious plants with freakishly long roots, but I am too stubborn. I can get everything else by hand. I just pull slowly by the base, so slowly, because the stem is the most fragile. I ease it out until I can get my fingers around some root. Then I stick in a finger and pry it up a little. Then I just pull slow and firm and almost nothing can resist. Except himalayan blackberries. The spade is the only way to go for them.

in my new life as a householder: shlock two

In my new life as a householder, I am very glad that we don't have TV, because this kind of life would make me very susceptible to the Comedy Channel, Cartoon Network, and Court TV. Law and Order has wasted enough hours of my life already.

In my new life as a householder, if I have an idea about how I want to change my life, I have to chew on it awhile, and then clear it with the committee, and perhaps the sub-committee, and in the meantime my little stream that once curled around many a rock, now starts to seem like a fat, silty river.

in my new life as a householder: shlock one

In my new life as a householder, I live in an overgrown hobbit hole and what I do has more to do with the needs and feelings of those around me than my own nightly whims.

In my new life as a householder, I get to be generous and inscrutable to newcomers: feeding whoever comes to my door with fish soup, wine, and tea made from plants in the backyard.

In my new life as a householder I don't have to keep a tally of all the women I know and how likely they are to become romantic interests. In my new life I do not read poetry naked. I don't advertise. I have some of that precious unattainability, but strangely, nothing to do with it.

In my new life as a householder, I am trying to think of the long term plan.

May 19, 2002

pome about a friend

i found out my friend was in a mental institution
it was so shocking cause i knew she was a little
troubled but nothing like the Harborview Medical
Center high risk ward troubled

i called her on the phone and she said she was
so tired and please daniel will you sing me some
buddhist songs all i remember is om mani peme hung

i sang a buddhist song
'all these forms that appear to eyes that see'
and i got choked up singing it because it meant
something different to me since she was hearing it

she sounded so sad i couldn't get out of my head the
picture of her running naked in the street

you know, she said, people can visit until nine o clock
i'll come tomorrow i said, i'll bring a buddhist book and
can i bring chocolate?
oh chocolate would be divine

pome of filial piety

i walked down the street with the styrofoam
package of my dinner
he in the hostel doorway assumed it was my leftovers

hey man can i have some food?

but it was really my dinner rushing for the bus and i
shook my head at him disdainfully and then
felt bad about it, at least i could have addressed him like
a human being

like somehow those men
these black and indian men drunk men or savvy men
don't warrant the attention you'd give to a broken child
which they are these men those broken men

like vultures, the endangered species that no one
cares about but goddamnit you better not club
those baby seals

i feel ashamed and then i miss my bus
and i feel very cranky
i eat my dinner
i feel like a miser

autobiographical pome

i felt like such a dork because i just found out
ok computer was such a good album
i wanted to have sex when i was in grade school
even then the idea to
lay with a naked girl just seemed so unbearably delicious

i once liked the mrs butterworths maple flavored syrup
so much
(pouring gobs on waffle chunks couldn't get enough of it)
that i poured myself a glass of it, realized it was way too much
after one sip i told my mom she asked me did you like it?
are you mad?
no just don't do it again okay?

you take the bad with the good, the hot sex with the crazy ness
the model rockets and trains with the being dragged down the stairs by
your hair for spilling some pins and not picking them up the dog could
get hurt i don't even remember if i dropped them

i wrote the second longest story in 2nd grade
we had to write a story and then me and marcus mitchel got in a competition
about who could write the longest story mine was nine pages and marcus'
was thirteen
except it was all like:
then more aliens came down and me and my brother got baseball bats
and killed them all then more aliens came down and then we got out the
weed whacker and now there's blood all over the lawn ad infinitum
then he fell on me a year later and it broke my leg
then it high school he made fun of me in front of other kids and i
told them he had a miniscule penis which he did

now i just have this album everyone else knew about for years and wonder
if maybe you can't have hot sex with a sweet person

January 6, 2002

not regretting it a bit the next morning

a tinyblog poem. shhhhhh...

I laud the practice of drunken familiarity
remember that everyone in the bar really is your friend

Your eyes
     your ears
          your nose and
your mouth breathing your hot breath into every ear
winning sloppy pool games and
remembering that the bar clock is at least twenty minutes fast

October 5, 2001



In the slaughterhouse of love, they kill
only the best, none of the weak or deformed.
Don't run away from this dying.
Whoever's not killed for love is dead meat.

- Coleman Barks Translation

July 25, 2001

haiku for a friend '

An apostrophe
connects and interrupts me
it's so much like you.

June 20, 2001

interview with aidan

So, I promised a little more about the kid portrayed on my masthead. One day, I came home and started trying to write a poem. I was stymied, though, and although I tried to think of all kinds of deep thoughts, nothing would come. At about that time, Aidan's babysitter dropped him off and he came loping into the room. "Whatcha doing?" he said.

"I'm writing a poem."

"Oh." And then he proceeded to talk my ear off, and I started writing down every word he said. I was asking him questions, but I didn't write down my questions, only his answers. This boy is the original tiny. I present to you:

Interview with Aidan

did you know
that older men's lips are grost?

women's lips are soft
but some are squishy
some women wear lipstick
and some women wear chapstick

some women wear lipstick
but my mom mostly wears chapstick
some men wear chapstick
but my mom wears chapstick

you and me,
we wear lipstick

sometimes you wear lipstick
you wore lipstick
remember that time we made you a girl?

your lips were really squishy
like seaweed and clay and greens
and greens mixed with clay

my guardian angel kissed you
she has really squishy lips
she has big lips -- big as your head
angels are bigger than you
angels are much bigger than fairies

ask my guardian angel

March 7, 2001

loose pages poems: got nudie?

Loose Pages (8 1/2x11 copy paper folded in half)
got nudie?

I got no nudie but I got a cozy bed
I got no nudie but I got a cozy bed
I got no nudie but I got a cozy bed
That's just fine with me
A cozy bed don't fuss and fight
A cozy bed don't fuss and fight
A cozy bed wouldn't care if I stay out all night!
That's just fine with me.

it's a loose pages / one a day poem.

March 6, 2001

loose pages poems: don't forget

Loose Pages (on a brown paper bag)
don't forget for even a moment!

make a list. write a sticky note.
tie a string around your finger.
(as if that ever worked)
set the alarm.
tell a friend to remind you.
place things on the floor
where you know you'll be walking later.
tell yourself to remember
when wind chimes sound,
when you walk through a doorway,
when you pick up the phone
at the height of madness,
on your first sip of tea,
when you blow out the candles.

you are alive.

please don't forget.

it's a loose pages / one a day poem.

March 5, 2001

loose pages poem: untitled

(on a blue handmade piece of Tibetan paper)

Our tender friend:
centerless center.
Our lost brother:
rhythm and change.

it's a loose pages / one a day poem.

March 4, 2001

loose pages poems: bosnian dream

(notebook paper, ripped out of the coil)
(Bosnian translation by Nina Pozegija)

I dream of the Autumn
and when I dream
the leaves fall and cover my eyes

They smell like a smoky morning.

Sanjan jesen
i kada sanjan
Lisce pada I mokriva mi oci

Mirisu hao dimljeno jutro.

Translator's note: This isn't a very good translation, because you would never use the word 'smoky' like that. The word I used is only good for, like, sausages.

it's a loose pages / one a day poem.

March 3, 2001

loose pages poems: tip from a llama trainer

(on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet)
Tip From a Llama Trainer

llamas are very territorial
so when you first start to approach them,
you just come up to maybe 20 feet and don't make eye contact.
then next time maybe 10 feet,
and then 10 feet again.
in this way the llama becomes accustomed to your presence without having to be freaked out.

it's a loose pages / one a day poem.

March 1, 2001

loose pages poems: I'm too skairt

(written on a notecard)
I'm too skairt to rite a pome.

I'm too skairt to rite a pome...
this world -- this country -- this city
with its dark nights and
little places to drink in and little
people to get in trouble with.
Everyone's loneliness just hits me at once
out doing their desperate lonely things
and me wanting to join them -- knowing
there will be a morning.
Dreading it, yet hoping it will come soon.

the loose pages poems

Ok, I am going to still do the rest of the one a day poems. I have a handful more, but instead of going in a notebook, these are the ones that were written on various random scraps of paper. To simulate their disconnected quality (and maybe to drag it out) I'm going to do them one a day until they're all gone.

February 21, 2001

blue pen-tab book poems: i am the one who is going to bed

I Am the One Who Is Going to Bed

I am so tired like I just ate a bunch of MSG
The hotness of a bath will drain me of this
I will smile and fade into sleep where I will
have dreams that I do not remember and
wake up a brand new person. I cannot
predict how he will act, bless his heart,
tomorrow is for him, not for me. I am the
one who is going to bed.

blue pen tab book poems: let my looping gentle down

Let My Looping Gentle Down

Let my looping gentle down
gentle down
gentle down
Let my looping gentle down
gentle down.

Let my breathing ready rare
gentle down
gentle down
Let my eyesight bright aware
bright aware
bright aware
Let my breathing ready rare
gentle down.

Let my eyesight bright aware
Let my breathing ready rare
Let my looping gentle down
gentle down.

blue pen-tab book poems: 17 islands

17 Islands

Sturdy shoulder blade of a goat
A porno or a princess
One last spot of tarnish resistant to polish
A child is yelling at Fred's, Mom is embarrassed
Song comes on the radio, imaginative!
Time for new stories with dangling endings
"We'd like to go back to our original way."
Hot Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy
It's that part that connects old TV's to cable
A man, a plan, a canal, panama
Evergreen state: a big cement building
Cat went back to Philadelphia
An unbelievable talent for arranging flowers
The ruby slippers, the poetry pen
Enormous amounts of cathedral
She stopped coming to see me after that
A breast, a blessing, a ban, a beast

second day of pen-tab poems

So, this is the last 3 poems of the Blue Pen-Tab Book Poems. Let them invade your very being, and then write a detailed blogvoices comment on each and every one...even if it's 3pm and the server is a dog. I expect your report on my desk first thing monday morning. Really though, if you have actually taken the time to read these I am very appreciative, it's kind of nice to share these tender things with the world and know that some small percentage of such has seen them. It's hard to have enough of an attention span for me to read poetry online when there's 50 million forms of instant gratification out I know those few moments can really be a sacrifice. So, without further ado:

blue pen-tab book poems: five limes

Blue Pen-Tab Book
Five Limes

5 limes stood with me 'til the end of time.
If it were a computer simulation
all 5 limes would look the same.
But instead they have only enough similarity
to make them all limes (all 5)
Each moment they are new limes,
5 limes in 2 weeks
would not be limes I'd like to eat.

blue pen-tab book poems: aflame

Set Everything Near me Aflame

I looked gently in those places where there was once so much heat
and now so so so so cold

When an evening and a night and a late nite
stretched out before me
a newly blacktopped road, no signs yet
I hunched my ears down to listen to my heart
their tips got frostbit from proximity
so so so so cold

Was I ever well? Or just trying desperately to set
anything near me aflame?
It's so painful to relinquish my matches
and watch my little flames burn themselves out
so so so so cold
and turn myself until I am
pointing towards the true source of heat
and begin walking.

blue pen tab book poems: red crayon

(written in red crayon)

The morning makes me feel so feeble and tiny
I can only drink coffee and hope the DJ
plays me something sweet

blue pen-tab book poems: touching boy

I'm Such a Touching Boy

I'm such a touching boy
if I could just touch you god!
this loneliness would be so much easier.

The paper, at least, I can contact it
but you... you may be all around
but my hand passes through you
on it's way to the TV knob.

You made it so easy to love someone
when they have a body
warm ribs that bend ever so slightly to
the weight of my head.

Why do you not have such a body?
Only a thin wafer
dry on the tongue, the body of...

I know.

That kind of comfort is not what you offer.

poems in the blue pen tab book

The next book of these daily poems was a Blue Pen-Tab wide ruled notebook. There's 7 of them, so I'm going to do half today and half tomorrow. Please enjoy them, or at least make little cooing noises while you read them and you can convince your brain that you are. I know most of these are a bit maudlin and naive, but keep in mind that they were often the last thing I did before I went to bed, and I knew I would have to look at them in the they were often meant to be some kind of inspiration. Like Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy.

Oh, as I was looking for a deep thoughts link...I found this one.

February 20, 2001

flower book poems: to love a ghost

to love a ghost

It's no damn good to make a list
of what I had or what I miss.

I remember what passed between I and she
but I don't trust my memory.

Memory the guest, and I the host.
That's what it means to love a ghost.

flower book poems: the very next moment

The Very Next Moment

Smoke on the head of incense,
waiting to be released.
The faucet head
trembling with its even stream of water inside.
A cat
paces pensively at the door.
A jigsaw puzzle,
so close to wholeness,
all its 2000 pieces lying side by side in the same box.
(A few even held together by a tiny bit of cardboard)
James Brown on the turntable,
needing only rotation and a needle to
get on the scene, get on up.
resting on the light switch
All waiting pregnant
for the very next moment
which of course never arrives.

flower book poems: asymetrical


My left foot is smooth and callused,
slides against a hardwood floor and warm.
My right foot is tender and articulate,
quicker to become moist in hot conditions
otherwise it is cooler.

Look at the two of them stepping my
slightly crooked path.

They do the job.

flower book poems: that still place

that still place

it looks exactly like love- but
In my graveyard mumblings
I don't know how to reach into it
In my greedy grabbing
I don't know how to let it
In my spinning I can hardly sit with it
In my faithless speeding
I don't realize I can run with it
In my self-conscious hyena laughing
I forget I can chuckle with it
Who is penetrating whom?

I will take some time and make friends with it.

poems in the flower book

Today I continue my every day poems. Today's poems are the poems that were in a book with a bunch of flowers and their scientific names on them.

February 19, 2001

little red book poem: untitled 2

(what is this?)

The Dalai Lama is on the radio
He is saying,
"I don't know what to do about that."
That is both good and scary to hear.

little red book poem: untitled

(what is this?)

Work it out Work it out
Work it out Sometimes it's
hard to work things out with
little spiny things poking into
my back and dry dreamy
drills mangling my head.
It takes faith and work
and time and work to
Work it out Work it out
Work it out It's always
evolving but there's always
something to work out
Work it out, something is
working but then something
else is not, you have to
Work it out, there's no
substitute but Work it out
Work it out Work it out.

house poems

I'm going to do something different this week. When I lived with my last housemate, I wrote a poem every night for almost two months! I just went over there to pick up my mail, and there they all were in a little stack! How sweet, so I will now share them with you. They were written in 3 formats, in a little red steno book, in a book with flowers on it, in a wide-rule blue pen-tab book, and on various loose sheets of paper. So, for day one, I now present to you, the little red book poems: