Monthly Archives: October 2000

BREATHE

BREATHE

The Buddhists say

“Breathe in all the pain of the universe
and breathe out love”

For the longest time I thought
in my Protestant work ethic way
this is important for the good of the world
and I should be doing it

Work hard breathe in
work hard transform
work hard breathe out

Protesting somewhat now I see
It has nothing to do with doing at all
and little to do with me

If you do not try stop it
you will breathe in the pain of the world
for it is all around you

If you do not try to stop it
you will become one with it all

and breathe out what you have become

LAWYER RAP

LAWYER RAP
(or I SUED TWO LAWYERS FOR 18 MONTHS AND ALL I GOT WAS ONE RAP POEM)

The road to trials
is paved with miles and miles and miles and miles
of files and files and files and files

Piles and piles and piles and piles
of files and files and files and files

And I’m going down that road
wading through piles and piles and piles
plowing through files and files and files

And I think of all these pile of files and files
used to be trees and trees and trees and trees

And maybe these trees – some of these trees
came from woods where Robert Frost walked
the woods where paths in the wood diverged
and where he took the one less traveled

And I wonder how I got on this path
and how to get back to that place
back to that place in the woods
back where the paths diverge

Spend my days outside instead
walking through live trees
live trees instead of dead

TONY CAMPISI AT THE ELEPHANT ROOM

TONY CAMPISI AT THE ELEPHANT ROOM

Tony Campisi plays Jazz
on an old tenor sax
notes you can’t play on a new

Brass as rich as stone walls
in an old world church
soaked in a thousand years
of latin mass

Tony Campisi plays Jazz
and somebody’s cryin, somebody’s dyin
somebody’s fallin in love – right now

HANGING TEN WITH DEBBIE

HANGING TEN WITH DEBBIE

When she was alive
she was just so damn alive
It makes her being dead
just so damn much more dead

We were together
the day the Challenger exploded
and the day the Gulf War started

Violence all around but we never fought

We just laughed and played
and howled at the moon

And surfed ten years
on that sweet sexual edge of almost
then she died

If either of us
had leaned ten degrees closer
we might have caught the perfect curl
and saved the world

Three degrees and we might have been
two reef torn bodies on the sand
but I block out scenes like that

I just see her innocent wave goodbye

I just watch the uncaught waves roll by

KAUAI LIGHT SCARS

KAUAI LIGHT SCARS

There are two
jagged lines across my palm
where I learned to use an axe at six
and a fingertip crushed by a grader at seven

There are marks made by light
that will remain forever too
here are a few still pink and new

Airport greets with morning rainbow
rare cardinal flies in for our meeting
Chinese screens roof tiles blue
getting to know you

Four hundred gathered
sacredness of Huna and Hula

A Wessel becomes a vessel
power pours through palms again

Flowers wrap the torch lit towers
dancing to Elvis the night is young
and so are we in blue Hawaii

Millennium poem a gift to all
little saint Tutu honors with a lei
passing it on is sacred enough
to say what I have to say

Rainbow in the valley of mists
forms a circle with us in the center
Walter the bear gives us a wave
to prove that we are there

A can of spam, coke, chips and thou
alone on a beach at the end of the world

BEFORE AND AFTER YEATS

BEFORE AND AFTER YEATS

The Athens of America
Timothy Leary dubbed our Austin town

Whatever opinion you had of him in life
you must admit he is dead right now

Just witness the round bellied Socrates
peddling wisdom in South Austin agoras

The poetry movements in galleries
still afoot above Sixth Street
from midnight to dawn

Comedy and tragedy enough in Hyde Park
to have no need for Greek theater

And yet the center will not hold

Attack is everywhere

Enemies with impervious armor
threaten to cover the sacred South

Monthly skirmishes break out
between the Nobles and their foes
along the Northern Borders

While all the young Turks
fill the Parthenon with dynamite
oblivious to every warning
the roof may blow off