Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I say let them go!

The argument  from the Tea Party and the new Right again and again positions itself as desiring Independence, but actually these "Representatives" and their Red states have been historically sucking from the Federal Trough more than any other ( states are paying much more of their taxable dollars to support these cranky recipients. I recommend, among others voicing similar opinions ( that what is missing from the dialogue is the reasonable argument that anybody who doesn't want their huge share of Federal dollars to keep their states viable should wholly forego them so the states who pay more than they get can use them to create the kind of dynamic culture they desire. It is apparent that all but one (Texas) of the states that pay more in taxes than they receive back in Federal support voted for Obama, and trends toward a dramatically more progressive approach to Government than the Tea Party and New Right states and their representatives.

I say let them go!

The decision can always be changed through the Congress, if they DARE. How Obama proposes this has to be extremely delicate because he actually will have to pretend that he really doesn't want this to happen so that they do it. Maybe he can get Michelle Bachman to come to the White House and bamboozle her to forward the bill through Congress. As a Presidential nominee she might get some traction to get it voted on. It could be called the "America Bill", and all that is asked is that those who want less government intervention, less Federal moneys and taxes, less dictatorial influence over their State's Rights, sign the dotted line.

Oh heaven, how that would be such a precious educational gift to both sides of the argument!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reluctantly Pulling the Ballot for Obama

These are NOT the reasons I am voting for Obama:
1) He continues to perpetuate the false model of war changing the world constructively. As he kills one Osama Bin Laden after the other he creates fatherless and motherless sons and daughters riddled with confusion, hatred, and little to rely on for guidance other than more violent confusion. And also he ends up supporting a devilishly dangerous culture within America that is eager to finance war at any cost for national interest, private wealth, and territorial schemes and manipulate the most ignorant among us to accomplish these goals. Our foreign policy is almost indistinguishable from President George W. Bush's War on Terror. He has not protected out borders, our ports, not hired more police, nor are our national security computer information lines collaborative yet.
2) In the process of this wrong-minded perpetuation he also spends our national treasure in lives, expends our karma by killing hundreds of thousands in the name of a false concept of Liberty, and our money that could reasonably be spent more constructively to benefit not only America but all beings.
3) In the spending of our national wealth we are left virtually bankrupted of resource and money to facilitate creative ingenuity to relieve ourselves of Middle East ties to oil and natural resource depletion(this includes water and soil).
4) Instead of reliably arguing policy for creative ingenuity Obama has fundamentally acquiesced almost entirely to the most radical expression of the right wing, losing all ground for projects for green jobs, national train lines, and new concepts for engaging foreign aid instead of violence.
5) In the face of economic melt down at the hands of Wall Street Leaders, President Obama has perpetuated this cycle of manipulation for the rich, by the rich, at all costs for riches, at the expense of the least fortunate and ignorant, by keeping these same power players in positions of leadership in the White House. Summers, Geitner, Greenspan, people from GE and CHevrolet, etc...All the while the President suggests to the American people that he cares about the middle class and their pensions and investments. It is a sham. He has initiated  virtually no banking regulation, has put no one in jail, accomplished little by buoying up the car industry...It is ceaselessly saddening to see the cycle of such corruption being positioned in Orwellian fashion by our President as Change we can believe in.
6) I can go on and on, about the capitulation to the Health Care Industry, the lack of spine when confronting weapons sales to Israel and others, his inability to fight for a woman's right to equal pay, for gay marriage rights, and ineptitude to protect our food sources and water from poisonous chemicals and maltreatment.

I will vote for him because we don't have another option. He is far superior to any Republican or Libertarian candidate. If anything, the republicans will perpetuate this American decline even faster with ever more perilous outcome to those who are least fortunate among us. HOW SAD!

We can list a few things Obama has done and continues to do with merit.
1)He has given more federal money to continued education, two yr colleges, and community colleges. 2)His Wall street bail out actually created a small fiscal return despite the fact that, again, no one has been brought up for trial, and unemployment due to the collapse has not been rectified, no penalties strictly enforced or monies seized since. Federal gov't actually made money from the bailouts. Of course so did all the companies.....
3)He continues to be a symbol to many of color all around the world of hard work and achievement being realized. I am afraid he is becoming more of a Dorian Gray figure to my eyes.
4) I think his attempts to befriend and legitimize India as a full working partner in the Modern World is good for everyone.

 I actually agree with certain tenets by some others in the political field, but they mostly are relegated to the fringe, a laughing stock for being too brazen toward our "American way of life" which should and can only be understood as code for manipulation for the rich and powerful at the expense of the least fortunate.

So I reluctantly will pull the ballot for Obama. I will not give money. I will not make phone calls. I will not seriously advocate for him, although I will advocate, very likely, against his opposition and the current fascist regime of the right wing in this country.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial day thoughts

Memorial day is such an important holiday, but we never really take advantage of the opportunity this holiday offers. Here in NYC, Fleet week is upon us, sailors meeting up with families, boys running around in there bright whites looking for some respite from the military drill...And tomorrow there will be remembrances for those who lost their lives in combat. "Lost their lives" is a critical expression that actually is funnily LOST upon most, in my opinion. For what did they give their lives? For whom did they kill and die for? As soon as anybody questions the validity of military action in this country the usual response is to disdainfully argue that my very freedom is being fought for by young men that live and have died. I hate the expression "fought for my freedom." "Freedom" is a catch phrase that largely is meant to express National Interest, almost entirely.

I think we should use this opportunity of Memory to remember what freedom really is, and what a travesty almost all military activity is and what a tragic loss it is to have young men and women killing and dying for such a terrible waste of activity. So little has been accomplished militarily since World War 2. In fact, one could easily argue that almost every person killed since in the name of Freedom has led to less and not more Liberty.

Freedom manifests in remarkable ways, and is almost entirely not based or found upon acquisition of natural resources, money, territory, or killing people.

In the most relative form Freedom is found in established social dignity, being treated with respect, ethical economic consideration and equality. Fewer people would even consider military service if they had greater options for social development in their culture. The majority of servicemen and women sacrifice their lives and their karma killing people for the appearance of social upward mobility. We must as a culture offer greater opportunity for upward mobility through public education and honor the work of those who help service the contemporary needs of the economic middle and upper classes through medical coverage, protection from predatory lenders, and opportunities for children to rise through intellectual prosperity.

Freedom is fundamentally a Liberation from Fear. We must stop our government representatives from mongering fear about The Other. I have heard enough about Islamic Extremism and it's grave threat to our Freedom. We have killed close or more than a million people in the name of such activity, freeing no one from anything, displacing countless families abroad, destroying the mental stability of tens of thousands of our own countrymen and women, and creating profound misunderstanding, disorientation, anger, and committed hatred in the Middle east and here in America. It is truly Orwellian in the way the expression of Freedom had been violated and abused.

Obama has tortured this expression equally as much as George W Bush has in the years he's been President. It is a mockery of truth and Justice and Liberty, Not a proud moment for America.

It's time to REMEMBER why we speak of Freedom and Liberty, what is truly worth LIVING for, not killing and dying for.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunshine Poem April 2011

Sky so white
It sears the volume from everything it touches
Rendering the entire landscape below
 into paper whisperings.
My body, included,
Fades into smoke
Rising like a thin plume.
Even closing my eyes cannot keep out the white hot light of the true nature of Being.
It pierces everything
If I let it.
Facing forward and unwavering,
Standing over a pile of my bare bones picked clean by time,
I am a disembodied wing flying into a shadowless light.
The guru calls to me.
"I am here.
Always was
Always will be."
Hello sunshine!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I am tired of hearing people I admire advocate for violence, suggesting it "frees people from oppression" or benefits our tactical National Interests. I am not naive enough to say we don't have energy consumption needs, but I am also not naive enough to believe that we cannot change our course if we wanted to, if our representatives wanted to... If we could get over our unnatural fears that something is going to happen if we changed our focus to exporting constructive aid rather than weapons and violence against innocents and the "Other" we might have a chance to actually benefit beings in this world. But the way our country is going without viable imaginative leadership, we benefit almost no one, and actually harm more people than anyone is prepared to accept.

I remember my teacher, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, saying to us to not forget to include ourselves in our prayers to enlighten all sentient beings. We must take care of ourselves as well so we're strong enough to continue our work to help others.

This concept is what is missing from the conversation about war and it's expense on our country and others. We have wholly expended our resources and morality abroad, and there's little left to resurrect this nation from such wholesale loss. I am a believer that this world of ours will change, but I suffer thinking about the terrible hardship ahead of us in this country before any awakening insight will manifest in our people and their leaders.

Why isn't it polled accordingly?
"Would you rather drop 250 $1.4million tomahawk missiles on Libyans or relieve 55,000 seniors from paying more in Medicaid/medicare costs?" Because that's what could be payed for in 3 weeks of fighting in Libya just with Tomahawk missile use.
How about this?
"Would you rather spend $8 trillion over the next ten years on Pentagon spending or eliminate all tax increases for ten years, plus guaranteeing solvency of social security, medicaid and Medicare, and complete energy independence from middle east oil?" Because that's what could be achieved with ten years of Pentagon spending on war abroad.

This is what's wrong with the contemporary conversations of today. There is never a rational talk of reasonable relationship between military spending and national interest in our people's welfare.

I take seniors over tomahawk missiles. I take energy independence over war in the middle east. I prefer education and foreign aid rather than war, weapons profits, and bankruptcy...How about you?

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Masters Of War" Lyrics by the Great Bob Dylan

 "Masters Of War" Lyrics by the Great Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good Intentions( a first draft)

Good Intentions

Conventionally, good intentions are understood to be Good. We as individuals and as communities and societies exercise good intentions all the time, but as we’re seeing again and again in this contemporary world of endless distraction with connection (yes, I am blogging this…) how we deal with all the cries and crises of need and stories of war and discontent from all corners of the world demands greater and greater scrutiny. 

We all want to give to so many, and so many of us do individually and as a society. There are obvious conditions by which we should understand our “ethical and moral responsibility” to be engaged locally and internationally, but I am going to attempt to argue for and against certain kinds of engagement that do and do not make sense to me or for the people we have good intentions towards.

Fundamentally, no matter what our good intentions are, no matter how full hearted the activity, there are after-affects to our actions. I give money to a beggar here on the streets of New York, wishing him well, a good meal, something, and later that afternoon he’s bobbing and sinking into oblivion on heroin or whatever. Maybe that high is a good thing, or it most likely isn’t; but it is strikingly NOT what I intended for the man. We encounter this culture of misunderstood intention all the time in our daily lives whether we’re really noticing it or not. We cannot expect good intentions to be received constructively as we would wish. My issue is with intention is always how much damage am I likely doing with the effort I’m trying to make. I’m not going to argue against good-hearted intention entirely, just some.

I think war is the most obvious good intended societal mistake we make all the time.  We buy into the concept that responding to another’s threat to our national interest in oil or other natural resources with violence is a reasonable good intention for the benefit of our fellows. We will kill anyone in the name of our “national interest” which is postured every time as Good. There is very little consideration of the opponent as having their own personal societal intentions for the benefit of their fellows. In fact, we completely alienate our opponents from our minds and hearts in order to make the pulling of the trigger easier. If we were to think of the lives lost in a meaningful way we would be struck with hesitation. This hesitation is meaningful and could be a guide for alternative intention.

I imagine all the time what the world would have looked like had we responded creatively to September 11th’s attack on the World Trade Center instead of with war. War is misconstrued as good intention. It is idealized as honorable when in fact the only honor is in the individual soldier’s misplaced belief in that ideal, so much so that he or she stakes their life in defense of that belief. In itself, giving one’s life for another is the most selfless act, but we must lament the misguidance and abuse of so much of that selfless activity for the benefit of so few. Some 2300 people died in the attacks, and close to or more than a million people were killed in their names. And the resulting chaos of living beings all over the Middle East is incalculable because of our good intentions  .We HAVE to look at war in this way primarily to understand the bastardization and abuse of the concept of Good Intention. We have enlightened no one with this activity. There is more discrimination, hatred, misunderstanding, and poverty of spirit and coin since September 11th entirely because of our Good Intention to respond with war as a reaction to the tragic loss of American lives. A million alternative responses could have been made to improve the lives here, there, and everywhere. Some of them might certainly have created suffering for others, because inevitably all good intentions leave something and somebody out. But I believe strongly almost nothing could have created more suffering than the choices we make and continue to make when we use the Good Intention of War. Iraq is no better off. Afghanistan is no better off. Libya will be no better off now that we’re bombing. America is far worse off than ever. Good intentions ruining the present day.

I feel differently about some Natural Disaster relief as a sign of Good Intention. Of course, relief when someone, when a nation like Japan or Indonesia, or Pakistan, or Chile, or New Orleans, is struck down by a wave or an earthquake, and we see the suffering and untold death of so many, if we can help with money or service….well, I think that’s terrifically good. We don’t know all the ways the money is being used, but we really have to have faith that every little bit helps provide service to the suffering, suffering, disoriented, displaced, people.

On the other hand, I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but if we had more faith in impermanence we certainly wouldn’t allow our fellows to rebuild nuclear plants on or near fault lines, rebuild houses next to volcanoes, or along the ocean, after being squashed or burned or swept away by tidal waves. We think as a society that we should replace what was lost, but that is a misplaced Good Intention. Here in America every year the same houses along the Georgia coast and florida get hit by hurricanes. Who let them rebuild there? New Orleans has been partly rebuilt without any viable infrastructure to prevent flooding from happening again. Why rebuild there in that way? Good Intentions. Many will say “that’s their home.” And I would say with good intention, “you can’t live there anymore. It’s just too dangerous dear friends.” Both Intentions are harmful. The first, and more common reaction to Natural Disaster Loss of property and belonging is to rebuild in exactly the same place. Again and again we see the failure of insight. Not just the individuals suffer if the buildings fall or burn or wash away again. These are communal losses. In my scenario, individuals would suffer with displacement, but the loss of lives, revenue, and suffering would be far less if the quakes, volcanoes, and Tsunamis happen again with no one living in those danger zones. But that will, guaranteed, not happen. We will help the Japanese rebuild along the ocean and beside the fault lines and inevitably we will look up to the heavens stupidly when it happens again. I pray not soon.

Spiritual Good Intentions are also chock full of problems. The desire to bring spiritual Liberation to beings is such a moving and glowing intention, but as is almost always the case, most people are ill-suited, not realized practitioners, to carry this off. As a result, most efforts manipulate people's hearts and minds wrongly, and they disorient them as a result and misrepresent the teachings of great masters, such as the Buddha Siddhartha, Jesus, Mohammad, or Moses all the time. We can see the fruits of their poorly designed good intentions throughout history in the people and cultures they have touched. 

Tibetan Buddhists are always touted as compassionate, peace-loving, but even different schools due to ignorance created violence towards one another in the past thinking themselves more special. Tribal distinctions past from generation to generation maybe led to this as well... The Christians and their history is littered with violence and cruelty engendered by misunderstanding and ignorance, and these actions (so innumerable to mention, but the Inquisition and the whole history of Colonization will do as an example) did little or nothing to perpetuate the real teachings of Christ. The Muslims, too, so readily and rightfully blamed for their violent inclinations and misunderstood and ignorant commitments to the Koran cut their opponents and destroy in the name of Holy Good Intention. This kind of violence is a total bastardization of the scriptures. There's no Heaven for anyone in these activities.

Nothing could reap less than these acts of violence to perpetuate serenity in the hearts of men and women, and fundamentally violence in the name of Good Intention distances beings from their True God and Buddha Nature, doing the exact opposite of what was intended.

Israel is the same in the name of Good Intention. It's policies and intentions have led to the alienation of themselves from the world and misguides it's supporters who whole-heartedly wish for the well-being of Jews in the world into creating weapons and selling them to perpetuate violence and hatred which pulls Jews and non-Jews further and further from morality and human ethic. 

Our President and Representatives claim to protect our Nation's Interests, but their ignorance and misunderstanding of the nature and dimension of Good Intentions leads this country to the brink of wholesale moral and ethical and economic bankruptcy. In the name of National Interest we are at War in three countries spending money we don't have, trying to secure leverage to protect our control of oil in the region, and to protect our people from some unknown threat of nuclear holocaust that currently does not exist. As a result, we are trillions of dollars in debt, incapable of viable reinvestment of money in clean energy opportunity that might really extricate us out of the Middle East, ruining our chances of viable investment in education for our youth who lag behind every meaningful industrialized nation's population, ruining our ability to bring peace of mind to the sick, poor and elderly because we're spending too much defending our national interest abroad,....the list goes on and on. and we see it again in the discussions of Deficit reduction. Instead of intelligently and imaginatively cutting military spending which literally doubles the cost of all other national expense we talk about cutting into entitlements for seniors and investment in new energy technology, cutting into arts education, etc etc... This is truly Idiotic.

I am a broken record... 
Let us make Good Intentions count by refusing all kinds of violence, by refusing to accept short term thinking...let us embrace the nature of Impermanence. Let us have faith in the hearts and goodness of the Other. Let us support those ideas that constructively benefit the most people without violently hurting others or the earth and it's precious non-human beings. If we can't do these things, better to do nothing at all.

a little poem 4/19/11 (inspired by a gift from a dear friend and the Spring's circumstances)

A pencil writing the first word of a poem
(and the last word of a poem)
is like the spring shoots pushing through the soil and stone,
cutting through the leafy detritus of winter...
Each letter spun
stirs a curling green momentum to some unknown becoming.
Each space between words
breathes the resonant promise of fruit and flower...
The writer sows on page what no gardener can cultivate in the most fertile ground
and tends the spindly sprung tendrils
to become the perfect harvest.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am a bear in the forest
I am a bird taking flight
I am a bee in a red flower
I am a word on the page
I am a falling leaf from a maple tree
The tree itself
I am the stormy sea
I am a dog by your side
I am a cat in the window
I am a squid from the deep with a big eye
I am all that
I am the stars that shine in space
The memory of a precious face
I am an ant among many
I am a snake in the grass
I am a Lion on green hill
I am an earthquake
I am the tears coming from your eyes
The pink from the setting sun in the sky
I am a painted elephant
I am a wolf seen in the distance
I am a deer in your backyard
I am the proof
I am the whisper of something more
The awareness of an open door
And so much more
I am the sun
I am the moon
I am the stillness in a room
I am the wind at your back
I am the Spring
The green shoots from the branches in the trees
I am the sparkle on the river
I am the pearl in the oyster’s mouth
I am the oyster
And the knife
I am your husband
and I am your wife
I am your daughter
I am your son
I am a field of summer flowers
I am also your gun
I am the blood you see in the dead
The ache in your head
The last breath
The sun in your eyes
I am the space between raindrops
And the quiet in your mind
I am all the distraction of this world
I am the unspoken and confidence shared between friends
I am the textures in your head
And the ground beneath the feet
I am Siddhartha’s begging bowl
And Padmasambhava’s Tiger
I am Jesus’s cross
I am the cow on a New Delhi street
All of this I am for you
With all my heart I change my form so your mind might illuminate the world some more!

Friday, March 11, 2011


The distance to the bottom of the ocean seems equidistant to the top of the sky.
She knows
In her head
The sky reaches beyond the blue,
Even past the night stars.
She closes her eyes feeling the density of the world surrounding her,
Slightly pulling at her.
She arks her body
Raising her sternum to stay afloat
Just to the surface of the great sea.
A deep breath sucking in the sweet sky and the sun
Also reminds her of her place, her location,
in some seasonal tide
that moves from one named place
to another named place
All land masses too far to see
“Too far to swim…..”
She thinks “I am the land, my body the shore, moved by the tide, whittling me down,
And building me up again!”
And it was so.

She breathes in the days and the nights
in and out of dream and waking
Sustained only by the fullness of the quiet.

After awhile the little nibbles from below don’t distract her
Her equilibrium becomes skillful in the roughest storm and the largest waves.
She happily sips from the rain
And feeds on the sunshine while trying to look squarely into it’s radiance for as long as she can…smiling…
White light fills her eyes, bright rose under her lids,
“The color of my beating heart…” she murmurs to herself.

She imagines her heart surrounded by a golden crown rising high on towering stems.
Emerald green shoots, rooted to the center of the earth,
hurtle her beating heart towards the sky,
to the edge of the atmosphere,
into the ether.
And the cold of space doesn’t bother her blood rose heart nor her vehicle…
And the green leaves intertwining her heart,
the One she sees under her eyelids enveloped by a golden crown,
turn into wings
with red,
blood red,
And she sees herself with the moon and the stars in her hair, white light in her eyes.
And she sees herself with each end of the never-ending universe in the palms of her hands and her legs open with the center of the earth…
a fiery hot orb below
in the inky blackness of a vast ocean with no horizon.
“I have reached the shore” she whispers.
And her lips never move.
There is no weight in her limbs,
no sky to breathe,
and just a slight warmth on the tip of her mind.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Knicks- a little bit of love from a fan

A long time ago my father told me when it was clear that I'd be an artist and engaging the world on the esoteric fringe that I could engage common conversation in the world with almost anyone if I chose a sport and a team to follow. He suggested I read the NYTimes every day, follow that team, it's articles and box scores, and, if I did this, I'd be able to feel connected, not so alienated from everyone.... Well, I took his advice in the 80's and I chose the New York Knicks. I love the Knicks. I came in as a fan at the time of a when the Knicks were a rugged, warrior-like team led by Patrick Ewing, a giant among large men, who defended the basket as if his life depended on it. He and his fellow forwards, Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason, would grind opposing teams down, hammering them to the hardwood if they dared lift towards the orange disc to score. it was an amazing time with formidable opponents that took our breath away. Jordan and the Bulls crushed us season after season, but the games were worth the failure. the fight was epic, and one never felt that we couldn't have tasted victory if the Greek God Michael Jordan weren't so elevated.
After some time Ewing grew old and his cohorts also failed a bit. The culture of winning remained for some time, but we didn't have the "Heart" on the team required to carry it into the future. A few good players served our desire for success for awhile, Houston, Sprewell, Larry Johnson,  Chris Childs and Charlie Ward...They offered some exciting rivalry to Miami and Indiana, but they were not able to merit more than a couple seasons of hope. As a fan I never faltered, my heart lifted with every drive to the hole, and I prayed like everyone that Allan Houston would step up and be the cold-hearted killer we thought he had the talent to be...He had a few great moments, "the shot" in Miami and all, but...

For ten years I have suffered watching the formerly great point guard for the historic champion Detroit Pistons, Isaiah Thomas, become the worst GM and coach ever. He destroyed the Knicks and the culture of warrior-players through one mishap after the other. He sacrificed Heart for Flash that later became "flash in the pan"...we watched our team diminish into a laughing stock....

With him gone these past few years, the fog has lifted. We have Donnie Walsh as a GM, and he brought the team out of financial crisis and simultaneously has created with the help of Coach Dantoni a team of winners. They are not defenders like the past. And quite honestly, those warriors don't exist anymore in the NBA much any way... But they could defend a whole lot better...But they Play, and they play hard. They score hard and relentlessly, and their expertise in scoring is sharp compared to most. They are led by Amare stoudemire, a young 6foot 10inch forward who literally can score at will against anyone in the league. He is not massive but he is swifter and has that "HEart" I was referring to earlier...he wants to win, to crush his opponents under the weight of his talent. Love to see the players beside him, young players, Landry Field (the rookie), danilo Gallinari, and Raymond Felton his stout pick and roll partner, try to emulate that heart, that winning culture. They are talented, but may not be all they need to be. Ewing suffered a great deal because he never had a great enough partner to help him carry the weight of taking it all the way. Jordan had Pippen, Shaq had Kobe and Visaversa...Robinson had Duncan, etc etc...Does Stoudemire need another? I think that he may, and there;s talk about getting Brooklyn Native Carmelo Anthony, another scoring Giant. He also doesn't defend well, maybe even less than Stoudemire, but he is a sharp sword, and unmatched in Ego and showmanship, which is helpful for a winner sometimes.....If Stoudemire can be the sober leader to take them hard towards the goal with Landry Fields and MELO as a wing man slicing and dicing opponents we might have a chance for some real fun in the future!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

"I wave in my seat like a leaf on a tree."

I wave in my seat like a leaf on a tree
I imagine the hair on the Guru's head doing the same
It's black like the deepest night sky
And the stars of his mind shine brightly in everything their light touches
In a hot room where the stillness seems like a wet blanket
My mind sweeps about like a leaf on a tree
I see the guru's image in a photograph
And his face glows in the dim light of an antique crystal lamp appearing to shift from smile to seriousness to a an open gaze of spaciousness again and again and again
As the clock ticks my mind swings like a leaf on a tree
It appears The world moves underneath me
Like the clouds float up above me
Like the river flows beside me
Like the words from this poem come out of me
Like the guru's mind enters in me and the way light dissolves me radiating out as if I were never there

Thursday, February 10, 2011


As the icy wind blows off my Hudson River on 26th street and forces my chin into my clavicle, the bright silvery light of the sun rises above the public housing rooftops and cuts through my eyelashes infusing my mind.
I am full of light for the moment.
My steps forward blind, and my ears and nostrils open to the cold air.
Where am I? The concept of 26th street, my homeland, the artifice of landmark and my place, are dissolved by the morning light.
Instinctively, I lower my head, turning three quarters to the sun, and I see shadows of employees of unnamed jobs tucked in their dark winter clothes move towards me on their way to work.
A new dawn of becoming emerges.
Back in my body, I gingerly face the sun again,
gently hoping to disappear again
into it's light for another moment,
but I've taken too many steps forward and a street sign and the edge of a building are ever so slightly making the brightness obscured.
No dissolve except as a memory.
With soft sadness I write this down.
But I will dissolve another day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

a few thoughts on L&M ARTS New York show of David Hammons work , January 26 - February 26, 2011

Spontaneously I found myself yesterday at David Hammons' show at L&M Arts on 78th and Madison with some friends, and I was really taken by the excellence and clarity of formal composure in the work. The first piece one sees is a giant canvas thoroughly draped with drop cloth, as if the gallery hadn't unpacked the show yet. There's plastic hanging from the door frame. There's a smaller painting, maybe 4x5ft, with a yucky brown towel seized to the surface covering what appears to be an urgent and loosely painted abstract. But as I discovered throughout the downstairs the painting isn't the heart of the matter Hammons is aspiring to realize in these works.

One can see only little bits of the painting's edges and reveals in holes that have been cut out roughly in the tarpaulins. They appear like marks bitten out or burned, torn... The second room pushed me further into inquiry. Why are they covered? One can see enough of the actual paintings to realize that they're particularly attended to, defined enough, to say "I am a painting" but that's it. So what's that about? It appeared to us that the cover or veil is the subject. And occurred to me that these efforts are attempting to draw our attention to our own obstructions to being fresh when we look at a work of art. We all have this experience of expectation when we look at a work of art. We ascribe to ourselves the imposition of our own ignorance or intellectual knowing that, I believe Hammons is suggesting in the work, prevents us from actually seeing the work at all or in it's true entirety. Because we are not fresh. Our senses are cut off by our concepts of things. The downstairs works suggest to this viewer that is is I who is wearing a tarpaulin over my head, attempting to bite through to see the world fully.

There's one piece that really cinched the deal downstairs where the draped material on the surface doesn't totally cover the seemingly randomly attended to painting, and the fabric appears like some lushly green Issey Miyake shawl. Decorative, not tarpaulined, draping. David Hammons has made mirrors, I think. We lovingly drape ourselves with our concepts of ourselves and our worlds, preventing our eyes and our hearts from seeing and feeling and being seen and felt again and again.

My amazement about this show in reflection is how extraordinarily simple Hammons' means are to convey such powerful context. They are so raw and just right.

Upstairs, Hammons decides to change the project incorporating the tarpaulins and paintings to make sculpture. He says there's nothing to prevent you from seeing these materials as whole. The first piece upstairs is giant, a painting almost entirely covered with black-green plastic, leaning on a cobblestone, from a west village street or somewhere, on just one side, and the plastic falls to the floor. There's an almost figurative lean to the piece, to my eyes, like a lurching giant, the color of the plastic sucking all the light into itself....

There are two other pieces I'd like to reference. To the left in the 2nd gallery upstairs is a piece that shimmers. It's a woven tarp, purple-green, almost silvery, and it has been sewn a bit with what appears like a pocket even. A vertical tear reveals an equally shimmery painting, reminiscent of silvery water, or lightening in the sky. The tarp and painting seem in concert with each other, made of the same essential stuff, and I couldn't help but feel comforted by it. But in retrospect I really wonder what David Hammons intends to elicit with this piece. It is, in comparison to the other draped paintings, the loveliest. We all felt it, I think. But the painting is largely still covered. I don't know.

My personal favorite, the one I'm taking home if I could, is a piece made by two cloudy clear tarps, holes chewed away, hanging on a clean white wall from grommeted(sp?) holes. The torn edges of the holes captured in light appear silvery, almost painted, and I felt like Hammons wanted to show us something simply beautiful....No artifice, no concept, no intention but the pursuit of loveliness...And he really gets it. The transparencies of overlaid plastic feel like flesh or layers of winter lake ice, wax...naturally quite beautiful.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Every bit of every piece of every split second" a poem

Every bit of every piece of every split second
I am born again anew.
It takes some getting used to
(I'm not yet used to it)
my chrysalis becoming and becoming...
I ride the air of phenomena like the fragile butterfly that I am,
easily dried out, pinned down by time,
readily crushed to dust and left to ride those very same winds into nothingness,
and I forget that simultaneously as I look and listen and feel about
that I am also again and again reborn anew...
the light in my eyelashes as I look into the midday sun,
for the first time, beyond time,
because the next time, as a flurry of snowflakes dropped from a nearby tree branch tickles my cheeks,
I look into the light, and the world, quite differently,
bleeds bright gold white.
I am not what I seem to be,
a man with
I am illusion, a wisp of a thing that's not a thing,
I grasp my recollections of self only to claim anew a different story,
a different face,
a different mind about everything and nothing at all....
I've nothing to say
with nothing on the tip of my tongue.
Awash in an ocean of endless difficulty,
astray in a world of concepts that simply don't apply,
in flight in an expanse that offers a vista that is nothing at all ,
and I rest in this no place like a big  reflective butterfly hovering effortlessly,
displaying a world in my wings....
each flutter an illusion,
a mark of some new beginning.
Noticing this...
It's happening.

Anew, anew, anew…

“Hello, hello, hello?
Are you there?”
“Am I here?
…no place.”
“Where are you going?”
“No place to go.”
“Here already...”
These are whispers of understanding
that disappear like tiny flumes of leaf smoke on a windy day,
or like dried butterfly wings
on a crisp, bright winter's day...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The State of the Union Address: a few thoughts

Everybody's talking and reading about Obama's speech last night, applauding his attempt to reach beyond the language of partisan politics, and I agree that his ability to do such a thing is impressive and important. I can list a dozen policy considerations that the President made that I agree with...stopping subsidizing oil companies and use the money to invest in clean fuel technology was big to my ears...High speed rail and internet, VERY GOOD....

But I honestly have no faith that our representatives represent our best interests, that they will make the cuts that need to be made to invest in investments that we need for the future to create jobs and a more prosperously healthy and educated population.

There is one thing that comes to my mind that is a necessary but incredibly opposed cut to be made.

The first, of course, is military spending. All you have to do is Google it and you'll see that we spend close to, before private contracting which doesn't get included, over 700 Billion Dollars a year for military. It's more than all annual domestic spending including social security, medicaid and medicare, municipal pensions, etc...., ok? And for what have we created a fully fallow economic environment? Are we actually stemming the tide of Islamic fundamentalism? I think not even close. We can't kill enough, and we can't persuade these people because we tried to kill them first before persuasion(they don't trust us, and who can blame them), and even if you think there's a chance for success(what does THAT look like?), how long's that going to take, really? It's a dead end. Military culture is fundamentally a dead end culture that costs untold sums of money and Precious Treasure on both sides of whatever war we're fighting, and it does absolutely nothing to create true Freedom and Liberty for beings. Cut it!

Here's some ideas from Kevin Hassett who is director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. His column is distributed by The Washington Post News Service with Bloomberg News.

"First, it’s finally time to take on farm subsidies, which topped $15.4 billion in 2009, according to the Washington-based Environmental Working Group.

This doesn’t mean America’s farmers have to be left to fend for themselves.

Canada has experimented with a program that provides government matching funds for farmers’ deposits into savings accounts that help them buffer their incomes against the ups and downs of farm prices. Such a program in the U.S. could achieve the objective of helping family farmers survive while enabling policy makers to withdraw billions of subsidies to big agriculture.

These changes, plus closing the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service, would save about $19.5 billion. Not a bad start.

Next, target energy subsidies, which might make us feel good but make little economic sense. If Congress wants to encourage innovation in energy, it should tax carbon, not subsidize politically favored approaches such as ethanol. Riedl says cutting energy subsidies would save about $6.5 billion.

Justice Department block grants — annual sums given to state and local governments, which largely get to decide how to spend them to achieve a certain goal — have also been targeted for cuts, and then saved, again and again. That’s $7.3 billion in savings.

Would Americans really suffer if taxpayer-funded travel by federal employees was slashed? I doubt it. Riedl counts $22.5 billion in savings from that and from cutting in half the cost of maintaining vacant federal properties.

The easiest cuts are to money not yet spent. There are various competing estimates of how much remains unspent from the great stimulus of 2009. I’ll take the most conservative estimate, $12 billion — the biggest chunk of which would go toward high-speed rail.

We’re two-thirds of the way to $100 billion.

Just because we’re all tired of hearing about alleged “waste, fraud and abuse” doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of it. Riedl estimates that a $5 billion investment in updated computer systems could halve errors in government payments, saving $44 billion. That lifts our spending cuts to $111.8 billion: target achieved, with wiggle room to boot. "

Also, after talking to a friend about Municipal Pensions and their costs, states going bankrupt, one has to ask the question if this can be sustained? I recommend guaranteeing current municipal union contracts. But effective immediately we should make contracts 25-30 years. People live longer, and are perfectly able to work at the age of 45 and 55 years old. If you get a job at 25 the idea that you'd get Municipal pension at 45 is preposterously early. I can maybe imagine making exception for high stress jobs like Policeman and fireman, but people should not be encouraged to leave a working life before retirement age unless they have some spiritual journeying to do. Most American folks end up on the golf course and in front of a tv when they retire.... sorry, it's true.

I have other thoughts that I'll share later. If you have any to share I'd be happy to have them posted.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"One day closer to death" 10/29/09

One day closer to death,
The autumn leaves barely holding on to their branches this October day
Remind me of my own tender grasp on this life.
The wind coming out of silver skies seems to expedite the deterioration of my mountain like sense of self...
Blowing the cellular dust off my exposed skin...
A hint of smoke from a passerby's cigarette, a touch of rainbow in my eyelashes, step, step, step, cars moving,
A breath under too many clothes, too much epidermal 40 something flesh,
A glance from some anonymous Arabic guy,
"Was he saying 'hi'?"
The day and its moments unfolding, they are stacking up...
Fleeting something’s,
I don't know who or what's or whose…
Sparrows seem restless with the scent of winter in the air;
Trying to fatten up,
Scooping up someone's tossed donut or meatball sub in the gutter....
It's not frenzied for me…
The coming of Winter…
I attend to the changing of seasons with sober deliberateness;
Layers of cashmere,
A change of shoes,
Reintroduction of socks…
Death is a little harder to prepare for,
But I feel equally unmoved about its relative imminence.
What's to do?
I reach to the moon
And the sun,
To jazz and Aretha and the JB's
And the open sky over the Hudson,
In the space between my fingers,
In my breath
Little moments and big,
I look to the Guru
And my own Ordinary Mind…
I'm always being born
Every time I look,
And Feel,
And Inhale,
And Exhale,
And Touch my sweet dog on my left,
Or hear the cabs beeping in traffic,
Or moving my hips to the soul music in my studio or rubbing the bristles of my brush against a woven canvas,
Painting the invisible,
Looking for the beginningless spark that reminds me of my true nature
And when I'm doing,
When I'm letting it all hang loose
And free,
And I'm seeing and knowing,
And living,
And watching and, well, the bones in my body, their weight, and the coursing blood in my limbs, my beat, beat, beating heart, blood red, I imagine, well, they soften up a little, lighten up…and my mind
Like the silver autumn winds rustling up those golden leaves,
Makes music
And my heart takes wing,
My eyes sparkle a little bit
Cuz I'm feelin alright about wherever I am...

"There is no invitation to make"

There is no invitation to make
But we make the invitation anyway.
There is no special plate to offer because all plates are offered
But we offer them anyway.
There is no substance to taste because all taste is substance
But we taste it anyway.
There is no Guru to dissolve into you because there is no you
But we dissolve the Guru into our hearts anyway
until we realize the Guru is all there is.

Give the people what they want

After hearing two years of all the complaints about the exceedingly liberal, socialist agenda of the Obama administration I have begun to understand the point of view of our Red state compatriots, and I actually feel sorry that they have suffered so much under a rule of law that they believe has hamstrung their Liberty so greatly. I have a solution. I haven’t come up with a proper acronym or slogan yet. I was thinking of calling it People’s Prosperity Opportunity…but the directive is clear: “Give the people what they want.”

I would like to propose a program that would empower states more and to establish their citizen’s constitutional rights to have what they really want. These Red state cultures don’t want taxes, they don’t want government interference with their way of life, they want more autonomy to fashion their own ideal of American Independence and Values. I say let all states sign on a dotted line and choose the form of government they want.

This State Freedom Act (I like the sound of this) would of course empower both sides of the political philosophical divide equally.

The Red states would keep all state tax money within their state and pockets. They of course would receive absolutely no federal money for subsidization of anything as a result of this great Liberty. They would finally have a real free market society! Yay! What’s really great is that they will be able define their own culture of how to pay for health care, education, police and fireman, supporting the businesses they want or don’t want, roads and bridges. They can have as many guns and as much ammunition as they can carry, bring them to church and schools, hunt and fish in the city centers if they want. They can deregulate their own businesses to encourage growth. These great Red states can live and prosper with their own hard work and fortitude, encouraging bootstrap pulling and integrity and values.

The Blue states will pay their own Federal taxes as they always have, establishing a Blue federation of states, and liberal places like New York and California, Oregon and Massachusetts, won’t have to pay thirty cents of every tax dollar to support red states as they have which is really great. They will be much richer keeping money within their Federation borders, and instead of subsidizing huge businesses in the Independent Red states they can use that money to establish a Great Society Citizen Well Being, providing Universal Health Care, ever more money to schools, developing an energy efficient culture, and establishing new models for healthy organic local agriculture. Blue states would have an even greater opportunity to create the kind of culture they have been prevented from establishing because of so much conflict between states. They can regulate business to provide greater public safety and health and encourage new concepts of progress and productivity. Food would be so much cheaper locally because we wouldn’t be financing big agribusiness elsewhere…. and more…

Of course we would still be the “United States of America”, but Red State citizens would have to submit ID to enter Blue States, like entering another country. There would be no guns allowed, and a very large fee would have to be paid upon entering to provide for that Red State citizens blue state benefits (health care, police, fire, roads, food safety, energy, etc etc), which is only fair. Interstate – Federation Commerce could still be realized, but, of course, any money made by Red State citizens in Blue Federation State territory would necessarily be heavily taxed before it was released.

All in all I think it’s a wonderful idea to let people live the way they really want. Red States would be richer in Liberty if not in wealth. They have largely been the greatest recipients of the Liberal Agenda of Socialized Government over these many decades, and they don’t want it or like it. Blue States have been very generously giving a large proportion of their tax moneys to the poorer states, subsidizing businesses that would otherwise fail and infrastructure in other states, and they could now apply their money as well as their Liberal Moral Values to their own constituents ever more realizing the Great Society so many Blue State residents aspire to.