Houston Poetry Tour


Beyond Death

Tonight begins three days of rain that scare the cats into the background and I keep drinking really tall glasses of water from the jug not the sky. I told them no it’s okay you’re safe with me and I’m not gonna let nothing happen to you. Tonight is its own night quiet and done with, not like Friday or the next. I can forgive Sunday its following Monday because I’m in the moment or aspire to be. When Monday arrives I’ll face the little office moments as little office moments and nothing more, nothing all that significant in the world of things outside of being pushed really hard (dead lines).

Thing is, sometimes you just have to slow down and kill one bug at a time, chop one tree at a time, and go tell your minister the guilt. Dance it out, he’ll say. Write it out. Blindfold your girl, he’ll say. Good advice flying all around – all in so many formats and goodbyes in the pan flipped up over and sizzling. Can you believe it? Rain as music? Yeah, rain is lovely and I don’t mind getting wet so much. I can get started and tell the tiniest stories to just a few friends who put their ears in close enough.

Death is all around us, damn. Each moment is a slow or fast death of our relationship with something. But our kind and loving thoughts and deeds go for miles and speak volumes reach beyond death which hates books and cinema. Kerouac had it right that writing is jazz how it flows like a horn player like a drummer doing his thing – when you do it right. With writing it’s just you and all the other players are offstage out in the world depending on you to flow your best.

“Sometimes I chat with stones…”

Thought I’d repost this, something someone wrote on a forum discussing more of an open style of Buddhist “practice”:

My current practice is pretty freeform compared to those above described, but since it is working for me I’ll describe a little. It’s insight meditation, pretty much.

I see the creative part of my brain – call it right-brain for short – as a wild & divinely connected other. In my experience it operates in phenomenological mode, deeply connected into the web of all beings in the world, so connecting with it helps align me with my purpose.

I do lots of difference reflective practices to connect with this divine creative energy. Sometimes I do free drawing, with pencils or colours. I do free writing as well sometimes, and I improvise music with instruments or voice etc as I hear it in response to careful listening to the place around me. I dance, especially if I have access to a stereo and a private space. Sometimes I write down a question from myself and wait to be dictated the answer. Sometimes I chat with stones, plants, insects that I encounter as teachers or fellow-practitioners.

I try to dedicate at least a total of one hour a day to this stuff – and often in 5ish, 15ish, or 30ish minute sections depending on what else is on. For me the crucial thing is, it needs to be fun because otherwise the wild mind doesn’t show. Hence, it’s responsive – “ooh, I finished that, I’ll go out in the woods for half an hour now”.. Or – “I just got home, I’ll put the kettle on and dance to two tracks” – following my feet or my elbows or a particular vertebra in my spine, to listen, to find out how my body is and what it has to teach me right now.

It feels like it has taken me a long long time to settle to a meditation practice I could keep using, and this very flexible but still non-optional kind does it for me. I think the effect it has is to keep me grounded in my body/self & it fulfils my own needs so I’m available to a greater extent to serve in the rest of my life.

I also think it’s a very important point that people who are ready to take up daily practice not be discouraged by a overly limited idea about what meditation is … For me meditation is whatever helps me connect with insight in a way which sets me up to be of service to my ultimate intention in the rest of my life. Spiritual housekeeping.