Mad Scramble Away From Wisdom’s Face-plants

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Mad Scramble Away From Wisdom’s Face-plants

Christmas Eve Day

And best to all of you, friends and not-friends, alike

Today, This Day

So similar to every other, Except Today I realize That at 74 years of age I am still alive Perhaps surprisingly so, Perhaps not.

How many more Christmas Eve days will I have?

But either way, Still here with the demands Or possibilities upon me Of writing this Or something else Or nothing at all; As will likely, Or possibly, Be the case when tomorrow Becomes This day.

So, whatever I write this day Or tomorrow Will be different Then what I wrote When yesterday was this day.

And I may have many, many ‘This’ days left to write And work and try To figure everything out.

Or I May Not. But this day: I Do.

On my 21st birthday, I drank 21 beers.

Today is my 74th and I’m fighting off an ear-ache likely threatening out of nasal congestion but who knows for sure? What with Omicron, Delta, and good old #19 it could be anything. Drinks at 3. Dinner at 5. Bedtime by 9, likely to be about 17 beers shy of youthful exuberance.

There’re angels and there’re angels, some of darkness and some of light.

Sometimes it’s easy to spot the difference... sometimes, maybe, not so Much.

You aren’t necessarily stupid just b/c you don’t understand how science works.

But it doesn't make you a reliable and trustworthy epidemiologist either. If the phrase “Science is as much a verb as a noun” makes no sense to you — shut the fuck up and get vaccinated. After all: Stupidity can’t be helped. Willful ignorance can.

Obama and Me

Our dreams can tell us a lot... or maybe not

The last few nights I’ve had dreams about hanging out with Barack Obama in which we’re doing cool things: Going to a bookstore recommended by Allen Ginsberg, walking along a street in NYC talking about the future, planning big deals that will make the world a better place. Yet every day when I get on the computer I see absolutely disgusting, ugly, horror-story level bullshit about Trump, really truly stupid stuff illustrated by photos of him looking angry, or sipping a drink from a straw, or standing with his retired pole-dancer looking wife who appears to be pissed-off, bitter, and depressed. I’m talkin’ EVERY FUCKIN’ DAY the media mainlines its overdose levels of this fucking ugly shit. But in my dreams Obama shows up, smiling, dignified, cool, smart decent and calm. Remember when our lives had that feel to them? When in Rome... the cliché goes. I’ll bet back When Caligula and Nero were on top a lot of Roman citizens preferred their sleeping hours to their daytime lives too.

Revisiting Our Job Description

Another look, added insights, into our challenging, hopeless, impossible profession

(The fifth step on the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path is:) Right Profession/Avocation

The poet was once and still may be called A dangerous creature. Ask Socrates, ask Plato. A poet is a man or woman Outside the world Of commerce, business and, let’s face it, Common sense. But in truth the poet is a greater danger to self Than to others: Death by a thousand metaphors. Death by a trillion missed chances. Death, death, death Even while we’re more alive Than the souls surrounding us. We poets walk among all, Try to hide sharpened eyes, ears, Masking as best we can Our vision and visions And dog-whistled attentiveness To words well or poorly used. And in the empire today? Love is a commodity Traded for sex and release And wealth is an irrelevance Bordering on madness As the very few Murder the great many To sit oh-so briefly in stupid power, Controlling nothing. “My Kingdom for another day” Sorry Lizzie, ain’t gonna happen. Our terrible burden is the recognition Of some hearts shown for what they truly are, Evil, selfish, greedy, cruel; Our truest blessing, Finding the other kinds Souls saintly soft and loving pure. The calling of the poet dismisses choice It is the demand of a captor not the gentle persuasion of the lover, The poem insists that to be a poet is not only The right profession/vocation But that what it takes away from us Is equal to what it gives us back. Free will is erased from the equation. You are a poet or you aren’t. And if you are, even if you never write a word, Your profession and heart’s dearest desires, fears, Hopes, and heartbreaks fold together To curse you and bless you And leave you standing alone, Always Alone, Facing Death, death, death Which you recognize for what it is That big, final rejection slip Sent via text or email or Decades-long-delayed SASE, Saying your name to the silent response of, “Who?” Or, more likely, to the eternally and deafening dumb, Silence.

Silencing Uncomfortable Truths

Censoring in a time of fascism is deadlier than murdering to “feed yer kids”

Sometimes, I’m confronted by editors rejecting my work that makes them too uncomfortable, and I will live with this just so long as they can live with saying no to works that they “respect and understand and...but... but... but...” They hear words that they fear might be too much for children of the empire, kids inundated with nonsense and fed lies and myths and utter bullshit cradle to grave. Truth is never misplaced. Honesty is painful at times but always necessary — I wish it were otherwise but it isn’t. You protect no one when you censor truth or facts and I fail at my most basic responsibility when I avoid inconvenient and uncomfortable realities. “There is no god, and he is always with you” I may be wrong about all of this, all of this, some of this, part of this. Then again, I may be right. Having the answers is always lovely; Asking the right questions, infinitely better.

Remembering my start at writing and how gently, sweetly stupid I was.

I used to write poems about winter light or birds in trees tiny poetry. I used to write what I’m sure were shitty little poems about nothing; but in so many ways I miss those days when nothing bad enough had happened to me to write about.

What’s the Point?

The game always changes, and so do we…


Neil and I are drinking coffee and discussing poetry. Very brainy, very deep — But across the room is a blond woman; I overhear telling her friend “He’s gonna have to get used to me having three kids... he doesn’t have any kids.” She has a low-cut top, big boobs. Truthfully I’d be willing to pretend I like her kids… But after looking over at her, maybe twenty times, during the last hour, now as Neil and I get up to leave she doesn’t glance at me. I’m 73. What she thinks of me, if anything at all, is “What’s the point?” And she’s exactly right. But a few years back okay, maybe more than a few, I could write about this and not worry about being #MeToo’d for my many wrong and sinful and inappropriate thoughts. Fuck it, I’m not gonna pretend I care about her kids...why start now?

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Wisdom's Many Facets Wiz-dumb v. Wisdom