“Remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of these three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. No excuses. No negativity. No psychic pollution. Keep your inner space clear.”—Eckhart Tolle
We painted your room like a war zone,
made love like a hand grenade.
When you pulled the pin out with your teeth,
I said, “Damn”
like a hot mess.
Gorgeous is not complex enough to describe
the simple in your overbite,
how beautiful you looked in spray paint haze.
We wrote our names on your wall
before we had ever touched lips, hips, or backbones.
We were just “friends.”
Everything was so hesitant back then,
we were not willing to own up to the butterflies
so we clipped their wings like pagans would,
praised God for the darkness
but knew nothing of their light.
We asked God what he thought of falling in love.
He said, “Damnit”
like he meant it.
Reinvented the crucifix.
Boy, you do not yet know what it means to love.
So I nailed you to the wall
like an air strike
like a poor swung hammer
and a bruised thumb
like we knew nothing of touching galaxies,
but we still stare at the stars like we’ll find gun powder in the dark matter.
We still fire guns like they’re gonna fix problems,
like they are bottle rockets
or bad TV.
Our hands are hollow,
empty teacup handguns.
We are lending bullets to the make-believe,
the quiet gap between my lungs and my liver.
These days, I only poison them socially.
I do not remember what clean air tastes like.
Los Angeles has a way of taking that from people.
She has left me clumsy and short of breath,
but I still follow her drunken hooker step
like I’m gonna find Jesus in the limelight.
I am hungry for wholeness.
I have not yet learned what it means to be better.
I have not written you a letter in three years.
You keep things like love poems and photographs in hatboxes,
I keep things like dog teeth in mason jars.
We are defined differently by the things we hold onto
but I love you
like the most awkward thing you’ve ever done with your body.
A freak show of nothing but moments you’d like to forget.
The deformities we hide on our bookshelves,
like closets full of prom queen cadavers,
beautiful Joe Football, quarterback.
Skeletons are not whole enough to hold your stolen whit in their chest cavities.
I want to be holy like that.
I want to own my prison charm completely.
What does it mean to be fully engaged in the spirit sweep,to be person,
or campfire light,
the under bite,
or the willingness to be bitten?
Your driftwood figure is worth the century old shipwreck.
She said “Damned”
like a first timer.
She had no clue the song she’d sung.
If I consider my life honestly, I see that it is governed by a certain very small number of patterns of events which I take part in over and over again.
Being in bed, having a shower, having breakfast in the kitchen, sitting in my study writing, walking in the garden, cooking and eating our common lunch at my office with my friends, going to the movies, taking my family to eat at a restaurant, going to bed again. There are a few more.
There are surprisingly few of these patterns of events in any one person’s way of life, perhaps no more than a dozen. Look at your own life and you will find the same. It is shocking at first, to see that there are so few patterns of events open to me.
Not that I want more of them. But when I see how very few of them there are, I begin to understand what huge effect these few patterns have on my life, on my capacity to live. If these few patterns are good for me, I can live well. If they are bad for me, I can’t.
“[How do I do it?] Well, it’s always a mystery, because you don’t know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I’ve learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don’t cripple myself, I don’t tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.”—Vandana Shiva (via meganmcisaac)
“We wear clothes, and speak, and create civilizations, and believe we are more than wolves. But inside us there is a word we cannot pronounce and that is who we are.”—Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena