Wednesday, May 31, 2017

SUN BUER - "Precious Treatise on Preservation of Unity on the Great Way"

The Tao is uncontrived, yet there is nothing it does not do.
It can be witnessed by the mind, not known by knowledge.
What is “knowing”?  What is “witness”?
Knowledge dismisses knowledge.

Witness only responds.
Response comes from nowhere.

Mind then penetrates.
Penetrate the One, and all tasks are done.

The One is the root.
The task is the door.
When the task returns to One, the One is ever present.

The presence should not be reified;
provisionally we speak of keeping it.

Keep open selflessness and naturally be eternal.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

SAM SHEPARD from “Dust”

He thought if he wandered long enough, he’d get good and lost. He’d get so hopelessly lost that he’d be forced into some part of himself that he’d never known before. Some part he’d be forced to meet up with. The proposition thrilled and terrified him. It was the mind that wouldn’t cooperate. He couldn’t control the picturings. There was no rhyme or reason to their appearance. He watched them pop up in his head as though he were sitting in a Wednesday matinee from long ago, with no one else in the theater.

He saw John Wayne wearing a buffalo coat. President Bush in a baseball cap, with a tie on. Bombs falling on Baghdad. Bombs seen from high above as though he were looking straight down through the hatch. The fat, self-satisfied face of General Schwarzkopf. A boy swinging a sledgehammer at the Berlin Wall and not making a dent. Pictures of news. Pictures of faces making news. Pictures of crows and hawks. A dead rabbit’s head.

Then Madilia. Her eyes. Her violent, magnificent eyes.

Monday, May 29, 2017

MARGARET ATWOOD from Surfacing

Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

JACQUES LACAN from The Triumph of Religion

I did not write Écrits in order for people to understand them, I wrote them in order for people to read them. Which is not even remotely the same thing. People don’t understand anything, that is perfectly true, for a while, but the writings do something to them. And this is why I would be inclined to believe that—as opposed to what one imagines when one peers from the outside—people do read them. One imagines that people buy my Écrits but never open them. That’s false. They even wear themselves out working on them.

Obviously, when one begins my Écrits, the best thing one can do is to try to understand them. And since one does not understand them, one keeps trying. I didn’t deliberately try to make them such that people don’t understand them— that was a consequence of circumstance. I spoke, I gave classes that were very coherent and comprehensible, but, as I turned them into articles once a year, that led to writings which, compared to the mass of things I had said, were incredibly concentrated and that must be placed in water, like Japanese flowers, in order to unfold. The comparison is worth whatever it’s worth.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Being apart and lonely is like rain.
It climbs toward evening from the ocean plains;
from flat places, rolling and remote, it climbs
to heaven, which is its old abode.
And only when leaving heaven drops upon the city.
It rains down on us in those twittering
hours when the streets turn their faces to the dawn,
and when two bodies who have found nothing,
disappointed and depressed, roll over;
and when two people who despise each other
have to sleep together in one bed–
that is when loneliness receives the rivers …

Friday, May 26, 2017

GUO GO from Passing Through the Gateless Barrier

Although you may have understood this, that you are free, you may still think, “I am free and yet I am confronted with all kinds of scattered or wandering thoughts, with obstructions everywhere I turn.” For instance, when you sit, you may feel obstructed by drowsiness; when you stand, you’re bothered by physical pain; or when you interact with others, you’re annoyed by certain personality types that you may not like. You’re actually in a good place if you come to this realization, as you recognize that you can do something about it. It is worth reflecting on, over and over again, observing yourself in daily life, in your interactions with others.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Once a friend of mine was about to go to Italy. I asked her if she had been there before. “Yes,” she said, “but I was too full of myself. So I’m going back, and this time, I hope to see it.”


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

“Strange Cinema”

In sooth, I come here sadly,
not trembling, not against my will,
hoping you will set the record straight.
You can, you know, in a minute
if the wind is right and no felon intervenes.

And we sit and you tell me how crazy I am.
I shall petition the other board members
but am afraid nothing will ever come right.
It has been going on too long for this to happen,
yet it was right to go, to go on as it did,
even if there was a strangeness in the rightness
that no one can see now. They see the night
in its undress, plaits unplaited, brushed,
the sound of the surf churning on distant rocks,
can think only about how heavenly it would have been
if it had all happened later of differently.

Now, according to some sources,
new golfing trends are a commodity,
along with silence, and sweetness.
Doucement, doucement …
And when the sweetness is adjusted,
why, we’ll know more than some do now.
That is all I can offer you,
my lost, my beloved one.


Florian Hetz, 2016

Monday, May 22, 2017


We worship perfection because we can’t have it; if we had it we would reject it. Perfection is inhuman, because humanity is imperfect.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

ALEX HALBERSTADT - "Elegy for a Boyhood Lover Slain in Battle"

               after Gore Vidal's Palimpsest

The branches shake, Jimmy, it rains in that trance;
Tuxedo in the colonnades asks after your breakfast.
A fire rises and falls in the house of Cadmus,
light on your bare neck, your voice
almost washed out in memory's reel.

Rapt in that flood I heard the night away
through Ovid, through mauve firs thrashing.
Your voice like a bellrope dangles in sterile heat
amid these unspooled metaphors. Today
the dry sun annuls the slide into la terra trema, but
through sweet parallax I watch you, sixteen, climb
like Phaethon the too-large chariot, the pitcher's
mound in Griffiths Stadium. A fire
in the house of Cadmus, a fire, and hard rain
in that trance. Tuxedo in the scullery,
the nails of your thick fingers flash
in the night-light. Still as a deer I smell
you through the monogrammed cloth.
The milk on your breath tarries the years.

"Verbose and hard" the Times once wrote,
and even now I stiffen, but strangely,
as a battered word reforms, anagrammatic.
A fire rises and falls, another trance
but no rain any more, no mansion.
Only the newsprint-brittle bacchanals of the sea.
The sun depilates boughs and dries the cliffside
veins of sediment and clay. Your Hesperidian form
gone, still I imagine you poised on a cot
dark-faced over your mother's Leaves of Grass:
Cushion me soft, rock me in billowy drowse, dash me
with amorous wet, I can repay you, awake,
not noticing the roan morning or the locust calls
on Iwo Jima.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

DONALD BARTHELME from The Paris Review, No. 66 - The Art of Fiction

One doesn’t take in Proust or Canada on the basis of a single visit.

Friday, May 19, 2017

SAMUEL BECKETT from Ohio Impromptu

Relief he had hoped would flow from unfamiliarity. Unfamiliar room. Unfamiliar scene. Out to where nothing ever shared. Back to where nothing ever shared. From this he had once half hoped some measure of relief might flow.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Around my door and yard no dust or noise.
In my bare rooms, no busyness.
After so long a prisoner in a cage
I have returned to things as they are

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I have always preferred mythology to history. Because history is made up of truth which eventually turn into lies. Mythology is made of up lies which eventually become truth.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SUSAN CAIN from Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.

Monday, May 15, 2017

CHARLES SIMAC - “So Early in the Morning”

It pains me to see an old woman fret over
A few small coins outside a grocery store—
How swiftly I forget her as my own grief
Finds me again—a friend at death’s door
And the memory of the night we spent together.

I had so much love in my heart afterward,
I could have run into the street naked,
Confident anyone I met would understand
My madness and my need to tell them
About life being both cruel and beautiful,

But I did not—despite the overwhelming evidence:
A crow bent over a dead squirrel in the road,
The lilac bushes flowering in some yard,
And the sight of a dog free from his chain
Searching through a neighbor’s trash can.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


In me there have always been two fools, among others, one asking nothing better than to stay where he is and the other imagining that life might be slightly less horrible further on.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

MILAREPA - “The Profound Definitive Meaning”

For the mind that masters view the emptiness dawns
In the content seen not even an atom exists
A seer and seen refined until they’re gone
This way of realizing view, it works quite well

When meditation is clear light river flow
There is no need to confine it to sessions and breaks
Meditator and object refined until they’re gone
This heart bone of meditation, it beats quite well

When you’re sure that conducts work is luminous light
And you’re sure that interdependence is emptiness
A doer and deed refined until they’re gone
This way of working with conduct, it works quite well

When biased thinking has vanished into space
No phony facades, eight dharmas, nor hopes and fears,
A keeper and kept refined until they’re gone
This way of keeping samaya, it works quite well

When you’ve finally discovered your mind is dharmakaya
And you’re really doing yourself and others good
A winner and won refined until they’re gone
This way of winning results, it works quite well.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Charles Coburn

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

LEONARD PRICE from “Radical Buddhism”

… Those of us in the jaded and desperate West who hear the resonance of truth in the teachings of the Buddha must hear also that urging to act, to start an inner rebellion against our ancient sloth and stupidity. Yet the more we ponder the more we recognize the enormity of the task, and an understandable reaction is to set about re-defining just what has to be done and just how prudent it might be to fling ourselves into action. The danger here–so typical in our comfortable and seductive society–is to forget the radical imperative of suffering and try to make over Buddhism into a tame amalgam of platitudes suitable for pleasant contemplation–praising it in order to avoid practicing it. Indeed, Buddhism is rational, patient, deep in wisdom, but should we then just bask in its reflected light?

Complacency is death. If, out of custom and timidity, Western Buddhists turn their religion into a museum piece, or worse, a hobby, they lose the essence. It is easy enough to settle for an undemanding status quo, a modicum of calm, a pleasant sense of harmonious living, and it is easy enough to postpone or forget any effort to break the shackles of old delusion, believing that one need not strain when the road will likely be long. But in accommodating too much to personal or societal expediency we cheapen our ideals and slide further from the disturbing implications of the Noble Truth of Suffering. We may even take the Buddhist vision of kamma as an indication that “everything is as it should be.” But everything is not as it should be. Everything is in fact miserable. If we are complacent we blind ourselves, and there is no safety in blindness …

Nichelle Nichols by Gage Skidmore - May 2013.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


My gift to you will be an abyss, she said,
but it will be so subtle you’ll perceive it
only after many years have passed
and you are far from Mexico and me.
You’ll find it when you need it most,
and that won’t be
the happy ending,
but it will be an instant of emptiness and joy.
And maybe then you’ll remember me,
if only just a little.

Monday, May 8, 2017

SAM SHEPARD from Seduced

What difference does it make? It’s a good story. One story’s as good as another. It’s all in the way you tell it. That’s what counts. That’s what makes the difference.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

SAMUEL BECKETT from All That Fall

I use none but the simplest words, I hope, and yet I sometimes find my way of speaking very … bizarre.

Friday, May 5, 2017

STIG SÆTERBAKKEN from “Why I Always Listen to Such Sad Music”

I believe disharmony and asymmetry correspond to a disharmony and an asymmetry within us, because we ourselves are not whole, or complete. Because we are never fully and completely ourselves. Because our lacks, our weaknesses, and our fears make up an essential dimension within us. Because our wounds are meant not only for healing, but also the opposite, to be kept open, as part of our receptivity to that which is around us and within us. And because there is also relief in this, not to be healed, not to be cured, melancholia satisfies us by preventing us from reaching satisfaction, it clams us by keeping our anxiety alive, it gives us peace by prolonging the state of emergency, the state of emergency that answers to the name of Humankind.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


If you lose all differentiation between yourselves and others,
fit to serve others you will be.
And when in serving others you will win success,
then shall you meet with me;
And finding me, you shall attain to Buddhahood.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


It has taken four billion years of evolution to generate this kind of organism with this kind of brain, and yet we wake up in the morning and feel bored. How extraordinary it is to be here at all.

Jodie Foster, 1976.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

RITA DOVE - “The Breathing, The Endless News”

Every god is lonely, an exile
composed of parts; elk horn,
cloven hoof. Receptacle
for wishes, each god is empty
without us, penitent,
raking our yards into windblown piles….
Children know this: they are
the trailings of gods. Their eyes
hold nothing at birth then fill slowly
With myth of ourselves. Not so the dolls,
out for the count, each toe pouting from
the slumped over toddler clothes:
no blossoming there. So we
give our children dolls, and
they know just what to do-
line, them up and shoot them.
With every execution
doll and god grow stronger.

Monday, May 1, 2017


I do not want my voice to go out into the air while my heart is sinking.