If you have an extremely like me, being a man with a voracious appetite for life, to be anywhere and do anything, and life somehow not wanting to accept that and pushing back hard with the time and chains of poverty, bad luck and illness, with every minute marked out for something and always running over into time marked for something else, or more often, the vast realm of impossibility, poetry and you are simply just not cut out for each.
But, nay, there’s the rub. For the more of life you are in, the better the poetry gets, kind of like never getting the best pictures because how in heaven are you able to reach for that camera or phone when even your two hands (never enough, I think) can barely manage to hold onto the oars and the boat to make it through and you usually end up overturning into the oncoming, never stopping water anyway.
I don’t remember much of what I read or what my teachers said in class as a young student, so naive and ignorant of the true ways of the world, but something I still believe as an immortal and unchangeable truth impressed me when a college professor compared the Roman writers, Ovid and Cicero, saying (most of you probably never heard of Ovid) that Ovid spent most if his time in the library while Cicero was put in life, among people, and of course a competitive reading of both authors is, as they say, history. I suggest you read both authors as I imaginr most of you haven’t.
Yes, poetry, thought and imagination, are always rude interruptions to the very thing which bore them, life itself. But, like our children, neither liking nor accepting the rules and schedules we arbitrarily impose on them, who either eventually subdue us and get their way and their freedom, or are borne down on so hard that we eventually break and turn into our corporate overlords at both ends of our paycheck a willing and submissive servant whose lights have been sufficiently put out to never question authority or peer pressure, poetry will either subdue us into it’s life of art or be snuffed out never to return, at least the idea it gave you. (There goes my blood sugar monitor alarming me and sniffing out this inspiration, like so many others that got lost in dark, invisible energy. Will have to leave off and return.)
I’m back. In 4 minutes, it will be time to wake up the kids and do gongyo. There goes poetry, like a mistress that comes in the night in a dream. I guess the interrupted nature of this piece will serve as an example worth 1,000 words. Besides, I’ll bet most of you are either impatient or already passed me on for someone else. At any rate, I use the time I chant to try to surrender any creative ideas while chanting daimoku (NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO) because NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO, being mystic (myo) is sublime and it makes both my chanting and my writing better so now what you’ve been seeing is my new enchantment.
Could be what appears to be the imminent presence of a new real woman in my life. I wrote the 600 pages of DNC Chairman when I was married, and my wife took care of many of my basic animal needs, so I could take care of my soul’s. I made myself write an hour a day and all day Sundays so I could get a masterpiece out before the 2008 Election. I often sat, from the scheduled, forced nature of it, in front of the computer screen, without a clue, because, as you know, if you’re still with me, poetry or art, does not like being on the clock. Nonetheless, I found with all that time which I don’t have the luxury of these days, that if you do force it, it starts to write itself. Besides, half the time or more, what I had written up to then, inspired me with so many ideas and spirit of what should come next.
At any rate, I’m 6 minutes for wake up and gongyo so
As I approach my final preparations for my jump off the cliff,
The only useful and effective parachute is the Bodhisattva Way.
Be there for and acknowledge the true self of others and they will support you where gravity won’t.
“From the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin:
Thursday, May 29, 2014:
“When one carries out the single practice of exercising faith in Myoho-renge-kyo**, there are no blessings that fail to come to one, and no good karma that does not begin to work on one’s behalf. It is like the case of a fishing net: though the net is composed of innumerable small meshes, when one pulls on the main cord of the net, there are no meshes that do not move. Or it is like a garment: though the garment is composed of countless tiny threads, when one pulls on a corner of the garment, there are no threads that are not drawn along.” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, page 133, Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man, http://sgi-usa.org/encouragement/dw.php)”
Recipient unknown; written in 1265 “
**(which means exercising the virtues of love, courage, tolerance, wisdom, art, passion, patience and integrity)
However, once such a net comes apart, the blessings are scattered throughout the universe and each small mesh of limitless good fortune will land naturally on that which is in the right place to receive it. Such was the life of Maya Angelou. No wonder I had such a good and beneficial day yesterday. Because of the good practices I had kept [of love, courage, tolerance, wisdom, art, passion, patience and integrity…though it was an intense and immense struggle along the way for me], I was one of those millions throughout the universe in the right place to receive a small mesh of that net of great benefice that was Maya Angelou.