Monday, July 28, 2014

Gross National Product of My Bicycle

I have a bicycle that uses many spokes. A few of them are lost
every time it turns. I have solved many problems with only
a dozen spokes. The fact that as I was working on the problem,
spokes were used that are not anymore in existence is proof
that progress need not be tied to the manufacture of an increasing
amount of goods. The gross national product of my bicycle
is set except for the hubs which are many. I have many bicycles.
They are not all complete. It is not necessary that they be finished.
The only thing that counts is physics, the demonstration that
riders are meaningless. You think you are steering, but you're
really not. You think you're pedaling, but you're really not.
The evolution happened when you had gone so far that you ceased
being aware of the problem. You ceased working, in your trail
were many spokes doing nothing alone, but nonetheless measuring.

A ladder is propped up high toward a garret window,
and lost in thought, you find yourself painting a picture with steps
and a nude or some sort of creation. You could not have made
that climb with a bicycle. However, there is a fruit tree at the top
of a mountain. You pedal your bicycle, let the switchbacks
and cliff walls fall into your evolution, all the while carrying a ladder
with your outstretched hands. You reach the tree, climb down
from your bicycle, that is if you're still riding, and set the ladder
underneath the lowest branches. The fruit tastes like
mountain candy. Suddenly, you realize the ladder is gone,
a few spokes are falling out of the leaves, but more spokes
are radiating from the center of your being.  That is spirit arms.
Although, we cannot trace these new spokes to the hub
which is most certainly in your heart, we may say it exists
and does not need to be seen.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Thin Area

When we describe a larger worldview with an even smaller law,
we are raising the stakes. When we get into matters of the universe,
we assume a secret love, not yet unlocked on earth, will keep things
orderly in places we've never been in person to inspect their
ruthlessness or complacency. If society is satisfied with how it is,
it fits into either acknowledgement of its torn fabric or the will
to bring it to shreds, hoping a tipping point will be reached.
This is good practice for a pair of shorts, wearing them until
they start to fray. Satisfaction with garments in the here and now
puts less stress on the sweatshops and might even increase
the quality we expect of our first love. An old pair of clothes may
become more dear to us, seeing how layer gives way to layer,
and we move more gently so as not to stress any thin area.
This is a fact. Parts of the world are thin. We are called to send
them direct aid or at least spend great amounts of time thinking
about their plight and who are the players. Then we can say
isn't it a shame that so and so has to be in power now.
I have thought it through, and it is his fault. If it was up to me,
I'd do things differently. However, the accused may see things
completely differently, pointing his finger at you for even trying
to understand his internal situation. Yes, places of the world
are thin. When we get to the threads holding together a pocket
or a belt loop, who can say which tug will cause the whole thing
to unravel? So we say it's bubbling up or they've always been
this way since nobody can agree on unilateral tightness
or letting things alone. The world is not a pressure cooker though.
There is great distance between each one of us.
Even brothers at each other's throat, if they stopped
calculating weaknesses, would find unexpected strength.
Our problem is that we're always looking for the next fashion,
not concerned with getting the best wear out of what we
currently have, not being aware of history and the unrest
that brought us to the point of actually buying our own clothes.
If we were concerned with the laws of behavior that went into
either making or trading for one pair of shorts, that would be
a law on a limited scale. It may have no bearing on sector
number three and a half and how to get to four in the agency.
We will have slowed down though.

Eventually our hyper-awareness of what is going on bureaucracies
away will erode, mirroring the fraying of our own garment.
If each leader came to a show and tell with an object that he/she
had worn until the thin spots could be seen, would these be rifles
or hand grenades? The person with a well-worn rifle might never
have shot anyone. The person with a well-worn hand grenade
might never have thrown it in a city of two million. Yes, he came
to work every day, put in his time, but we never knew he carried
in his vest pocket the tools to destroy his enemies. These are the thin
spots we might acquire. Spots that only come of birth because
of quality and gentle movement. Yes, anyone can go to a football
game and get a savage rip in their garment, hence giving it
the appearance of wear. It takes a careful love to secure the strong
spots so the weak ones may feel the air of day. That is an air
that is not busy tugging on this thread or that, trying to see how
the whole thing can be understood. It is an air that knows nothing
short of complete uniformity will ever be a fair breeze for our
brothers and sisters. Other than that, the thin spots will appear
and will last if they begun with quality like the gentle movement
of a grenade carrying person in a bustling city that bustles
with the distance that is unimaginable to us, unless we have
that responsibility.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014


It is not necessary to live at the bottom of the sea
in order to discover Atlantis.
Consciousness is a very random thing,
but it has rules at a very deep level.
In order to create an ocean kingdom,
one must work with flow.
The ocean is overwhelming and has very few rules,
but our little piece of paradise is a complicated schematic.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Control Tower Beeps Closer

We both landed at the same airport.
We talked about things on the flight
that bear great importance to the world
as it was yesterday and today. There was a moment
when all clouds ceased to be distant, and you
opened up your heart to me. I can still hear it ticking
as the control tower beeps closer. Your radiance
caused me to close the shutters left of my window seat.
So here I am with the blinds drawn -
I forgot how I got here - looking at some pretty letters.
My letters flap around for the sake of being alive.

At a time when God and I decide to drive west,
the blinds will open, and you won't even be in the room.
Your chamber becomes furiously light.
You have made it to the river. You have been paid to
describe the rise and fall of the waves, the currents
that eddy into tide pools where the deepest ideas
become shallow. Where Christ is beckoning, finally
released from your heart into the world, you sing
sunshine to the one still in the press, worried about luggage.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Little, Leaping Lords

I was sitting in art class, no make that fine art class,
and the other Philistines were making a city street
out of perspective. Instead, I held a dab of glue in one hand
and a crumpled up bit of colored tissue paper in the other hand. 
I was making Popeye by a process sort of like latch hook.
If Popeye played baseball, he would be a second baseman like me
and the peace loving man sitting next to me. This second baseman
talked about the game as if it was only to be shared, not won.
I got a glimpse of the losses he suffered on the diamond
that did not harden his heart, only made his hands softer.
It is a fine graphite that can grow from flames,
covering the whole paper parlor until you don't know
where the fireplace is. The treasure, like newspapers
in all their orientations of being read, somehow stands
the heat and curls slightly with age. If you picked up
a pair of scissors in this room, they would be the new poker,
a pencil for circling the help wanted to keep Christmas
in everybody's heart.

My next project was replicating, in identical
cards, the original twelve days of Christmas.
I became an automaton to do this job. It was only
upon installation of the pear tree on the simple motor
parade that I fell in love with the girl sitting next to me
whom I had not noticed until then.
My second ceramics instructor made a pear out of
two halves of clay that fit together seamlessly.
Meanwhile, Neptune's clay chair was being considered
for senior thesis quality, much more barnacles
than I have ever encountered at an university.
That was once upon a time when the dust bowl,
through meditation, turned into the sky bowl, and my little,
leaping lords took to the sky.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Decade Report

You asked me to do a decade report.
I handed it in a century too late.
The homeroom teacher let us meditate on grammar
or the more pressing need to copy math homework.
I listened to the Colonel who was our coach.
My homerun sent me around the world,
camping out at third base, walking it home the next morning.
I have become enlightened but for some reason
still know how to read. That skill got caught
in a food processor the day I didn't care about walking
in two minutes late.

It is easier to break dance than to strike out
so we break down the cardboard box that the microwave
arrives in, and we spin like whirling dervishes.
That video you will find in my video store
a walk up the street from the pool where we are playing
water polo at a graduation ceremony.
I wrestle in the tenth grade but only pin one opponent
whom I meet much later at a garage sale.
The band is setting up while my friend builds a go-cart
that takes us to his confirmation.
Most of the time you will find me tethered to the Maypole
because the one time I get off the hook,
the volleyball rolls to the corner of the snack area
while everybody else goes back to swim.