all I can change is the world
all I can change is the world
new year's morning
the journal blank
new year's eve
i slide from the skin
of the dead year
clouds float by without metrics
Plagues of smithereens and blame.
And the dying.
Until every little story breaks.
Until only the great story remains.
The one we tell together.
There's a loose chunk of sidewalk
outside my building I like to step on
every time I pass for the little lift
it gives. I never remember it's there
until I'm almost upon it and I forget
it exists moments after I pass.
All that's left is the residue of joy.
The world is like this, full of gifts
you don't remember but which make you
vaguely happy if you keep meandering.
If you look in to yourself
you may discover a dark pit
and think it goes all the way
to the center.
You'll fall through, eventually,
and land in a field of diamonds.
And that's enough.
But if joy tugs you deeper, dig.
Dig with your hands. You've got lifetimes.
You'll get to the source, eventually,
and the source will light the world
meditation app simulates rain inside outside just rain
Like a shoelace that won't stay tied.
Like a rusty bucket that almost doesn't leak.
Like a cannonball stuck in the wall of a church.
Like a sack of doubloons buried for centuries
off the coast of Florida.
Like fog at night covering a cement factory.
Like a basketball clonking around in a dryer.
Like dirty snow in a strip mall parking lot.
Like a story nobody's read for a while.
Like a bunch of bananas someone I once loved bought
and left on the counter at her new boyfriend's place.
Like ostrich wings.
Like no butter in the fridge.
Like a timber blowdown up in the Nez Perce country.
Like an old shoe.
Like an old loafer.
Like the sole of an old loafer worn by someone like me.
Like an old sole.
Tell me doctor, do you think it's serious?
Slogging through the leaden afternoon
I wipe my wet face with numb hands
and hear a single word of conversation
between the two runners I splash past.
I came to myself crying,
the way a child will run
to a parent after being hurt.
What is it? I asked.
I tried to tell them, I said.
About my life. How it aches
sometimes. They couldn't hear.
Still. All these years. I, I ...
I broke down again so I gave
myself the only thing I could.
I held me in my arms.
I told me I was loved.
We "No" so much there's much not blessed
but don't you think it should be stressed
there's more in life that should be yessed?
Here -- let's put blessing to a test ...
Bless rotten pumpkins. Bless some bugs.
Bless awkward people's awkward hugs.
Bless those nettles. Bless this cactus.
Bless a booger (just for practice).
Bless snot and phlegm and sneezing fits.
Bless you with all your stinky bits.
Bless smog and soot and ash and dust.
Bless cars dissolving into rust.
Bless ordinary blades of grass.
Bless any piece of broken glass.
Bless hissing brakes and baby wails
and chalkboards under fingernails.
Bless feeling sick and throwing up.
Bless feeling weird and growing up.
Bless making fun of boring art.
Bless laughing so much that you fart.
Bless grumpy people on the train.
Bless highway traffic in the rain.
Bless snakes that hide beneath the flowers.
Bless minutes fast becoming hours.
Bless all the people you forgot.
Bless nada, zilch, and diddly squat.
Bless your goofing. Bless your botching.
Bless the TV that you're watching.
Bless mischief that you instigate.
And bless too little done too late.
Bless U-less words that start with Q.
Bless chicken pox and bless the flu.
Bless you's and me's and poohs and pees.
Bless morning breath and cavities.
Bless good and bad and all the rest.
'Cause good or bad, life's better blessed.
Now, look around at all you've yessed
and count your blessings, kid. Now, rest.
I did not know I would find myself living
in Cuba three years from now when
I happened into Seattle's Bulldog News
this morning, shook off the drizzle
and asked the old woman behind the counter
if she had any magazines on living abroad.
I told her how the kids will be in college.
How I can work from anywhere.
How it's just me.
"Ever been to Havana?" she asked.
"The music!" She told me of an evening
she was walking through Plaza Vieja.
How a man was playing "Candela"
on a guitar -- you know the one?
"Oh fire, fire, fire, I'm burning"?
How another man flipped over a bucket
and began drumming on it with his hands.
How she found herself dancing.
How good it feels to wake up
this Sunday morning and not go
to the garage, put on the old shoes,
wheel the mower over the gravel
and pavers on the side of the house
and mow the backyard lawn. How good
to not wonder about the moss patch
in the grass, to not have to think about
driving to Home Depot for whatever
chemical kills moss but not grass
or people. How good to not kill moss
at all, because it is beautiful.
How good it is today, to not have
a lawn, a mower, a house, a car.
To be sitting in my favorite chair,
the one by the window, drinking coffee,
and reading Whitman, my life empty
of anything extra.
i don't hear god so
i just do what those who do
did when they didn't
Anthony Wilson's book "Lifesaving Poems"
won't stay open when I floss so
for a couple minutes I'm on my own.
The woman at the coffee shop
who smiled at me is not working
for the ninth Saturday in a row.
no one will save me