Volume 2 of Collected Poems
Aug 13, 2001
If you have asked yourself the question
“why am I so crazy”?
the answer is simple.
You are crazy with grief.
Deep down inside,
you are like one attending a funeral,
tearing your clothes,
bewailing your loss.
“But what have I lost, to be so crazy?”
Something infinitely precious,
something you love so ferociously
that even to remember it consciously
would set you to rending your hair,
again and again.
There is a rage that attends this grief
a rage at yourself, because,
down in this same forgotten chamber of memory,
you know that you were offered this precious thing
beyond value, and you lost it,
from a moment’s inattention,
or cast it aside for something more glamorous,
or ignored it because it did not make
pretty jingling music
the way a child’s toy does.
The world is a child’s toy
compared to the majesty of that
which we have put away,
and now, unconsciously,
we grieve, and wonder
why we are so crazy.
Feb 1, 2004
Life is too much to feel.
Life is too much to heal.
I search, I experiment,
I move from idea to idea
practice to practice,
prayer to prayer,
hoping that all the ills
my body, my spirit, my disorders of love,
will go away and be replaced
with something more satisfying
than this daily multiplicity of
clashing forces. I get older.
I get better, worse, change,
stay the same,
life seems too much
in any way that is adequate.
Pay attention to what is happening!
That’s what the personal guru,
the voice in my head
says, over and over.
Don’t try so hard to change,
don’t aspire to master that which
the nature of your humanity.
I am frustrated, incomplete,
I can’t keep up with the demands
of what seems to be impossible.
Be honest! says the voice in my head.
No one is being really honest!
Everyone’s got some way out,
some device to escape the hard ground
the sleepless night.
You’ve got yours.
Keep it; it serves. Get some sleep.
December 31, 2001
There are many kinds of women.
There are pretty women,
the kind men want to possess,
and there are nurturing women,
the kind men want
in their houses to have their babies.
There are pretty nurturing women,
and those are the best of all,
but sooner or later age will take the pretty
while the nurturing goes on and on.
When men watch each other,
they see a man with a pretty woman
and they feel envy.
They don’t like the man who possesses
the pretty woman,
they won’t be his friend,
but they will wash his car
or cash his check.
A pretty woman prevents friendship
When men see another man
with a nurturing woman,
they may not understand why he
is with that woman.
Be she young or old
the beauty is inside, timeless,
and men are poorly attuned to their own needs,
to their own timelessness.
But a man with a nurturing woman,
a pretty, nurturing woman, a homely nurturing
woman, a young nurturing woman,
an old nurturing woman,
can be friends with other men.
They won’t quite know why
they are comforted in this man’s presence.
He is not a competitor, he does not need you to wash his car
or cash his check.
He has learned the truth
is to be di