when I walk around these days I see things in pieces.
I look at a tree, for instance, and see not a normal tree,
but thousands of torn up pieces of magazine clippings
made to look like a tree.

I look up at the clouds and see balls of cotton
and the stuffing from inside cheap pillows
thrust up into the sky, glued to the underside of heaven.

I walk the neon aisle ways of the supermarkets and all
the products run together, colors bleeding into one another,
slogans and great deals! blurring. The blood of the exploited
runs out of the seams in the plastic seals and onto the white-
tiled floors.

I watch tiny television clips and see only mouths
opening and closing
with no sound coming out.
fists opening and closing.
doors opening and closing.
eyes opening and closing.

I try to read a novel and these little snippets
of radio ads from when I was a kid
start playing.
my mind an ancient reel-to-reel
squeaking on rusty gears.

I look down into the shady grey depths of Puget Sound
and instead of water I see microscopic chemical equations
dancing over and beneath the surface. The periodic table
transmuted, shaken up, spilled out onto the canvas of our lives
out of order.

I pick up the dictionary and all the words fall out.
I pick up the telephone and find I have no voice.
I try to listen to the birds and my ears fall off and
scramble for the nearest radio.
My lips are so tired from kissing ass they have no will to speak.
And my eyes. My eyes reflect the world.
Torn-up pieces of glitzy magazine clippings
pasted and patched back together to form a fresh reality.
A reality in which I barely exist. The shadow of a ghost
of a book that’s sat on a shelf for the dust of the ages to admire
and grace with its presence.


measuring effort

tired. always tired. always tired but always wide awake. i practice zazen while walking, talking, drinking, thinking, burning, turning, always turning. Today i turned into something new. An alleyway i had not seen before. A butterfly whose name does not translate on the english tongue. A Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout and my 'to do' list, crossing out, filling in, filing, categorizing, shuffling. I wake up and start trying. Tomorrow I will start dying. Too many wasted words. Brevity Brevity Brevity. Too long-winded to wind my way around the winding stair. Out of breath. Work becomes second nature. Nature becomes backyard bliss. Soon my life will change again. Soon there will be trees, fresh air, chickens. Soon there will be a more complete lonliness and I will be. Just be.
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