Tag Archives: United States

Night Sail

When I lay me down to sleep,

The monsters below begin to creep.

The farther down their nasty lair,

The stronger their hold, with strength to spare.

 

With sleep as my boat and dreams as oars,

I quietly sail and pray to the Lord

To steer me safely with the wind behind

Yet, I know He will test if my faith be blind.

 

With trepidation I sail into the deep,

Waters roughen, no voices speak.

From depths of stormy seas within me

Angry devils rise with fury.

 

Capsized, paralyzed, with no sight or words,

I am choking, flailing, with no aid coming towards.

I feel their grasp; merciless and hateful.

Tears, salt, sea, I swallow by the mouthful.

 

Thrashing in darkness, I continue to sink under.

I hope for intervention, lightning or thunder.

With the last of my sight, I see a blurred night sky…

Kicking for freedom, I strain my thighs.

 

Amidst agonizing defeat, a twinkling thought-

I suddenly remember old foes I’ve fought.

I surface for a second and gulp fresh air,

Awakened by wind tearing through my hair.

 

Tears into the sea,

These waters stir within me,

These ogres were born inside me,

From my very own darkness,

Anxieties brewing catastrophe.

 

I own these beasts – an ounce of pain, a ton of steel,

Their strength is my strength, I hold the reel.

My neck is bound by their grip

But the lasso is in my hands; I crack the whip.

 

Their hold is released, our roles reversed,

I’ve harnessed the dragon, undone the perverse.

Lacking oxygen, and fighting for sight,

I straddle this beast and bind it tight

At the throat and I pull until my veins are blue,

Destroying the lies that destroy my truth.

 

I kill this creature and stare into its eyes,

This wicked nemesis I’ve glimpsed many times,

 

With a face so vengeful and familiar,

 

Looking back at me from the window in my mirror.

 

 


Rush Hour

A Buddhist monk
Boards my morning rush hour train
Maybe he’s part of the Tibetan Mission
To the UN
travelling to visit this borough of New York
Where his family has emigrated

There is always room
To ponder
when a Buddhist monk enters
smiling as anyone else
seemingly comfortable and so familiar
in his holiness amidst the un-holiness
of public cross-borough transportation

It makes me ask myself why
I couldn’t have gotten up thirty minutes
earlier and practiced some yoga
to send myself off into the day with the light
beside me, as they say,
“Namaste.”

It makes me wonder how
early the monk had risen and how
many heads he’s blessed with how
Many prayers he’s sent into the Universe
And would I be just as blessed
If he were to graze my head as I passed by?
I stood close for the chance to receive
my blessing

I suppose from where his home is
and the places hes travelled to
he must have seen all and been phased by none
I wonder if anyone else questioned themselves
this morning as they rode in the presence of enlightenment
Surely the man across from me
eating a can of Pringle’s for breakfast must have
silently vowed to better his health

Chance, the person who can’t decide if
they’re more comfortable as my friend or my foe

The day passes in a speeding blur
I don’t know if im having a good time
or losing in a whirlwind of living
without thinking
It’s hard to focus and everything I do
is subject to indictment by my own mind
Honestly
I’m not quite sure what I’m doing,
but I’m doing the best goddamn job of it still

I hurdle, 400 meters at a time
with baton in hand, counting my blessings
in the storms of
‘I want’, ‘I wish’, ‘I should’
hoping there’s someone around the bend
to pass the stick off to
so I can feel victory, just a sip of it, for a moment
and understand the feeling of
‘I am’

Choice, the illusion which so easily triumphs
over my friends and my foes.

I look around to see who’s watching me
the familiar face I catch is my own
I run and as fast as I run I am still earthbound
I swim and hide under the depths
but am purged upwards on land
here, where my battles are.
I didn’t get to choose.


Water Sign

I am faceless
In a body of water
Gathering, always gathering

It starts with three
As I try to escape my current reality
By drowning in vodka
I do too good of a job escaping
And I’m a bad swimmer

There’s a boy with the knit scarf
and dark rimmed glasses
but, that may be the problem: he’s a boy
I need a man
and the man is there
I find him in the form of a well dressed,
soft spoken stranger
but he scares me because his eyes don’t agree
with his words.

I am heightened, out of myself,
and from above I trust less and less
I see subtlety
I spread my wings as if to land finally
and realize, grounded,
I have never left
three heads on the ground, they surround me

The last one, he has always been there
watching when he thinks I’m unaware
but aspiring towards redemption
I become the eagle,
and unlike his fallen, crawling, scorpion brother,
am always aware
this man in his striped cardigan
rejects me and the torment I suffer
I keep within, a sunburst sore searing me
inside

A faceless flight,
I pray for transcendence
to leave this place and land where I’m wanted

The face
of my body
surrounded by Water
I gather
the courage to walk into Fire.


Sincerely, Yours

Today I thought about you
and how you smile
so easily and are quick to laugh
with your shy dimples
those perfect teeth and the
smooth skin of your powerful jaw line

I remembered all the times you
reached out to hug me
at my arrival and you smelled
so good
everywhere
and just then
though you made it hard for me to confess
just then
I never wanted to leave your grasp
ever

I remembered other great things
about you
that settled in my memory
so comfortably and safely
but as always, I stopped remembering
and began realizing

I realized my memories of you
never reflected the reality of you and now
they’ve been reduced to stories
of what once was

shame on you

I still want to pick up the phone and scream
I miss you
but I’m not sure I do
I miss my dream
the pefect dream you ruptured
when you said, “Come.”
and I came.

Shame on me


Bird Brains

I’m walking down this path
They call Lancaster Walk.
It’s crisp out, it should be winter
But it’s not. The air is still cold
and the squirrels are mating
because they think it’s Spring.
The breeze sends a mentha cool
up my nose and I get chills
down my neck and spine when I exhale.
My eyes are wandering,
avoiding other eyes around me
trying to find a peaceful place
to rest upon
Like a bird on a high branch
after a long flight.

Strangely enough,
I think to myself, I hardly ever
Look up
And it was as if I had
Rolled up the blinds to a dim room.
My eyes grew at the magnificence
Above.
I’m always so busy looking around and behind and
As far forward as I can.
For a moment or two it was a mini revelation:
The clear blue
Stained here and there with fluff.
The camera zoomed out
On me,

When I notice through my peripheral,
As I’m staring into the sprawling blue,
A sparrow on straight trajectory,
At lightning speed screeching
Treacherously inharmonious notes.
Centimeters from its tail
Glided a larger bird, swooping
Effortlessly but determinedly high and low.

Target in sight,
Acute and precise,
Predator and prey.
Both birds
Bleeding desperation.
Their wild primitive minds
Know that one’s freedom to live
Is the other’s freedom to die.
And suddenly I understand the
Horror, drama, suspense
Life offers:
Survival
In every and anything
All of the time.

In this one moment
As the sparrow was tagged,
Charged, doomed,
Throttled to death
I found myself engulfed in
A most violent kind of beauty,
Exhilarating terror
On this crispy day
Down Lancaster Walk watching
Bird brains.


Humanism

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
And the holy priests they sit and watch
And preach and preach
But no one listens because it’s them
Who are the scared ones
They’re afraid to participate and afraid of the world
And afraid of what it may feel like to live
Because this kind of freedom is untamed and wild
To feel, to let go and letting go well,
There’s no telling where we’d end up
We’d procreate and think and speak and make and do
And sabotage

So which is really right or wrong or innocent or corrupt?
The ones who reign and watch and legislate
Or those hedonists who shake all the apples
Off our trees and eat them and share them
And whisper evil nothings that cause little evil worms
To crawl through our little evil ears?
And we search for immortality
Not realizing it cannot be touched
It simply is-
In art, in literature, in sex
Promiscuity with eloquence at its finest
the Here is mortality

Judgment day yielded us an Arc
With one way in and one way out
And one way up if you can see that far
Salvation all around us for us to dip our toes into
But we couldn’t just yet…
Not until we’ve drank our fill and spilled the rum
Because suddenly Mohammed is wrestling Christ
Did you watch the fight?

and they sit and watch
knowing they’re going to heaven as we fall down to hell
even though crimes of the congregation are worse
than those of the infidels
we say nothing, still,
hoping fear will dissipate to faith
will dissipate to salvation
will dissipate to bullshit
it’s the unheard voice who screams loudest in agony
and his words are translated to silent weeping
with no vocabulary to supplement

And the riots
They may continue whirling back and around
Yet, with no stalling of motion
No one stops to say we’re back where we started,
Look guys, we’re back where we started
How did we get here?
And why?
And the rich get richer while the poor get poorer
And the holy priests they sit and watch


Thoughts Per Diem: The Importance of Dance

As there is far too much to be said of the importance of dance, we are left with one last choice. And oftentimes, it is precisely when there is far too much to be said of the importance of something which forces us towards a different medium for communication. When words simply cannot express an emotion or an idea with accuracy, we dance. Dance is the voice of the suppressed: suppressed voices, suppressed emotions, suppressed ideas, suppressed identities. When our vocals fail or betray us our bodies will speak. When our voices cannot project far enough to express the contagion of happiness, when our pain cannot be molded into syllables, we dance.

Essentially, dance is birthed during the absence or rejection of vocal communication. Any person blind, deaf, or dumb may dance. In the darkness and in the stillness once can dance. In the rain, sleet, snow and sunshine one can dance and even when there is utter, daunting stillness, one may always dance. As the truest, most sincere form of communication, our bodies are a vehicle, and sometimes a weapon, of ferocious expression. Bodies will express things that are too vulnerable or too biased to communicate in terms.

This form of physical art displays upon our body what our subconscious feels, for all to see. A dancer is able to present themselves and their circumstances naturally and unabashedly. Movement combined with purpose and emotion resonates louder than any decibel known to man. We find a form of freedom, release and purification from the confines of our minds often clouded over with thoughts too explicit for language. Instinctively then, our bodies default to its own language; lyricism understood by individuals in all societies, from all demographics.

Beyond all promotion of the art, dance is necessary to the well being of our mental and physical health. Without physical release and satisfaction of communication portrayed through dance, there would be no personal freedom to be gained in this world. And there is nothing as important as political and economical freedom than our own personal freedom; the freedom of our bodies from the prisons of our heads and inner demons, and the freedom of our bodies from unseen, unwritten chains of society. To understand the importance of dance, one can find it in one place only: in the dance itself. And to quote the brilliance of another artist, Shakespeare did believe that all the world’s a stage.


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