Monday, September 15, 2014


Masks, Shadow puppets, Horses, Swans and Colorful migrating birds, a Rabibit, Fox and Wolf, a Snow Queen, Moon bride and one very confused man with many faces, plus one Monster of course, told a modern urban tale with the help and artistry of Beth Grim, Loyan Beausoleil, Ron Jones, Nancy Dean Cross, Joe Munley and the ever crafty
Mindy Levokove.
 Two delightful hours spent in the 6th and B Garden
on the lower East side

The End

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Tonight I'm going to Tibet house for an event, and spent today looking over some related literature in my possession, reading passages I've loved again.  I often wonder what attracted me to the land of snows way before I met the Dalai Llama or was involved with Buddhism.  Sometimes I think it was just the mountains.  Something about mountains rising up
over the earth astounds me still.
First USA Edition 1954
"Wherever I live, I shall feel homesick for Tibet. I often think I can still hear the cries of wild geese and cranes and the beating of their wings as they fly over Lhasa in the clear, cold moonlight. My heartfelt wish is that my story may create some understanding for a people whose will to live in peace and freedom has won so little sympathy from an indifferent world."
Tibet House
22 West 15th Street
Introduction to 'Self Compassion'
presented by Elizabeth Pyjov to a packed gallery.
After the session, my generous friend Lori treated us to a lovely meal at Soen.
The eight week course begins on Thursday, October 2nd in partnership with Tibet House
"Compassion is at the center of Buddhist thought, and also the most talked about and rapidly developing topic in psychology and neuroscience. You can discover it in depth for yourself in this eight-week Stanford Compassion course that has been very successfully offered at Tibet House since last spring. Using the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, meditation, lectures, readings, exercises, and class discussion, students learn to have a composed and compassionate attitude to the challenges of everyday life."

Still up this New York Fall night, having clicked on to the Internet in order to download a snapshot taken at a literature event, when I trudged down to East third street between first avenue and A in the sixty degree rainy gloom at seven o'clock to the new location of the famous  St. Marks Bookshop, which, having fought the endemic extinction-by-real-estate war for
so long, finally gave up and found a new location. 
My friend Jee Long Koh, scholar, teacher and poet, and a contingent of writers launched "Starry Island", a journal  of new writings from his original home in Singapore.  It was wonderful: five authors gave us a great, and varied free show with a question and answer session that turned from current immigrant issues
to the politics of censorship.  Brilliant!

Rudely Awakened
My outside doorbell rings incessantly.  I tiptoe out to the intercom-who might be doing this?-see two kinda big guys.  I listen in a minute and ascertain they are some drunks.  I don't know them.
I go back to bed.  Then I hear a key being turned at my apartment door, and shoot out of bed in a panic and back down the hall...

I bang hard on the inside of the door and holler
"Who are you?"--"We live here" they say--"No you don't, you're drunk and at the wrong apartment"--they are not convinced--"I'm calling the police"--I do that, dialing 911 I get an operator right away who takes the information that I'm right across the street from the 13th Precinct.  I check my front window and see a cop outside the precinct smoking.  I think about calling to him, but first, tiptoe back to the apartment door and listen.  Nothing.  I check the intercom.  No one.  Are they still in the building?  I phone the 13th Precinct but get a recording directing me to phone 911.  I'm very agitated, so I sit down and take a few breaths to calm the fight/flight state that's been activated.  Time passes and no one comes.  I hear noise from the alley and look out the side window where I see the same guys in the equivalent
apartment in our twin building next door.

The 'idjits' were in the wrong building!
So I phone 911 again to update the emergency to a non-emergency, and am informed that calls don't get cancelled.  I am annoyed enough to say that at least a half hour had passed without a response to my first call when they were trying to break in to my apartment, pointing out that had this not been just a case of drunk guy stupidity, I'd very possibly be injured or dead.  No reaction.  My update has been noted and the operator identified herself with a number.  End of story I think.
Jeez, life on planet Manhattan is just not what it used to be.  I used to have known neighbors, a community, a direct connection to the precinct, and a lot less feeling of isolation.  It must be so for thousands of us here.  It is sad that's what the City has become.  It's missing the most important elements of real quality of life.  I'm fortunate to have accrued enough inner security through myriad encounters with great teachers who led me to practices that help me stay afloat in these stressful times.


Thursday, September 11, 2014


"To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work."
-Mary Oliver-

Two roses for two towers
Across the street at the thirteenth Precinct
a permanent memorial
A piece of the towers, photographs of lost first responders,
and floral tribute
It's one of those moments...just listen if you can

I was there (here) that day.  I had the only working land line so welcomed people who needed to reach other people, and walked to friends in need, bringing water, matches and batteries, as much light as I could spare, in a trance, in a trance, in shock.  But now, now that commercial interests own it all, all except for the broken hearts, I still see the flying forms that fell away from the impossible fire into the empty future, and the streams of forms moving uptown in the darkness covered in toxic dust.  I love the beings who rushed to help and those who needed them.
Photograph from September 11

They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.

Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.

There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.

They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.

I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.

Wisława Szymborska-
(translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak)
I love this Fall day still....still I listen in stillness,
and remember:


Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Sunday, listening to the radio, made six pint jars of basil pesto
(sunflower seeds, olive oil, romano cheese, garlic, touch of stevia or honey)

Baked Tofu
(firm tofu cut in cubes, marinated in soy, dried, tossed in herbs and crumbs)

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
(after the one year Anniversary party at the new space)
The walk home
(Hotel for homeless wanderers)
It's 'Fashion Week' in New York City
 (Tattered jeans and fitted jacket at Opera Thrift Shop)

The moon reflected and doubled
The Harvest Moon Itself at four in the morning
The Galaxy Song

Saturday, September 6, 2014

SEPTEMBER 1,2,3,4,5,and 6

 Pull apart the pile that means to end up as a file
Spread it out over the floor, chairs, and tables
Read--eliminate--Read--choose--Read selects out loud.  Choose a short story too. Pop a soluble vitamin B12, and show up at the venue early
Rose Bernal read two new short poems,
Su Polo read "The Artist" by Jefferson Davies and Steve Bloom, the first feature, read several of his poems: 
I sang unaccompanied verses of "Hard Times" by Stephen Foster
(I like these girls doing it)
Then read three of my poems.  Here's one:

Life Itself

There's always war somewhere -
in the the body politic, or that body there.
Something wants what some one, or some thing
has possession of. That has a truthful ring.

The peace of a full belly, or a conquered hill,
of someone bending to an others will,
or death, when pulse ceases to insist,
is all the peace there is - the ultimate kiss.

This soil on which we play
accomplishing our tangled lay
worms will oh too soon aerate.
Here is every things fate.
What's green now, growing above
the bounds of seed, is living love.

A dove calling to its mate,
hungry barn cats coming late
for benefactors generous plate,
turn to where a bird is sure to sate
hunger. Each day rises from night
to the light, always to the light.

Desire, the hunt, and all this war,
the what-we-do till we are no more,
till we are no more than memory
absorbed into a vaster sea. 
Our need - a vector,
a bees thirst for nectar.

We, the least of all creations,
with our avarice, codes, and nations,
are collectively a single temporary guest,
no different than the rest,
except perhaps for conscience,
and unavoidable consequence.
Then a short story--the one about compassion for the New Years Rat.  I wrote several animal related stories for this paper.  Someday, when I figure out how to do pages and find the time (or take it)...but, like the file that needs to be...

Hot + nothing much = Nothing much + hot

Paying bills by snail mail, I stand and wait at the post office
  Zen sitting at 6 o'clock 
Although my spine was straight, I fell asleep three times! 
Borrowed a book and headed home
Passed several homeless people bedded down in doorways, and watched a young man photograph one sleeping.  He was the only one who stopped. Then noticed the contrast of a woman, having stepped into the street, pausing to search for her cell phone, and a man with one deformed leg struggling to make it across the street in time...the start of a short story:

She finds her phone and takes a few steps.  The light changes. Traffic zooms ahead. They're suddenly stranded right next to each other surrounded by cars.  His name?-Joseph Destino. Hers?-Mary Anne Carteret.  There they are under a hot sun burning through the evening haze, briefly trapped by circumstance.  He drops his cane. She picks it up.  Their eyes meet.  She thinks she knows him from somewhere.  But where?  When?
(flash fiction-to be continued)
Kept walking...
Ominous Image painted on a door further on
Kept walking...
Performers in full body leotards buying hot dogs and posing happily

Pink sky at night-sailors delight
Pink sky in the morning-sailors take warning
Art opening
by Karen Green Recor
"The Door Closed and Open"
by Arnold Wechsler

Discs $150 each
Three sketchbooks for sale
Film crew
doing it for art history
snapping stills 

bearing witness to the legend he has become:

Gallery folks cutting up
After...To the high line
with another art veteran

A nice breeze greets us

Evidence of Summer gone to seed
A variable feast for birds

Some last blooms
The intoxicating scent of late flowering trees
To the Public Theater
Cleopatra's Needle is being repaired
Hot and hazy still
"A Winter's Tale"
(surreptitious shakey snapshot before the show)
It was BIG fun---foot stomping, clapping along and laughing out loud fun. Great singers and performers, stunts and comedy, with appearances by Sesame street puppets, NYC Ballet, Dance Brazil, Shin bone alley stilt band, Staten Island Lions, NYC Bhangra dance company, and Rosie's Theater kids.  +  over 200 New yorkers as chorus and extras for crowd scenes!  Spectacular adaptation, harks back to days of the first "Hair", and every ticket FREE!
Read about it:
(The ghost of me with my beautiful friend)
 Strolled back through the park in the dark  accompanied by crickets, cicadas and katydids to catch the Fifth Avenue bus home
Awaiting the storm while watching channel thirteen
"No Way Out"
Roger Ebert gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, calling it
"truly labyrinthine and ingenious."