Sick Bed Poems, Part 2

All poems written while sick in bed and then posted on Facebook.

I Love Saturdays

I was preparing to

Take a nap on my bed.

While staring out the window

There was afternoon,

Blue sky and green plants

Swaying in the wind.

There was dog sounds, car

Sounds and time going by

Too fast sounds.

Then a naked lady with

Beautiful breasts and

Trimmed brown pubic hair

Walked by on the telephone wire.

This is why I love

Saturdays.

Slavery

It is 7:28am.

A time of

Doing nothing. Just

Sitting here with

My coffee, my

Fever, my body

Aches- listening to

Records and watching

The morning outside.

I don’t want

To do anything

But the day

Ahead is filled

With adult responsibilities,

Which just means

Things that must

Get done that

You do not

Want to do.

Poop and Pride

This morning while

Picking up dog poop

I stepped in dog poop.

I became angry, indignant

At something so beneath me.

“I’m no better than poop,”

I reminded myself

Because pride never works.

I became humble

And cleaned the poop

Off my shoe.

My Wife

I’m often grateful

For the absence

Of fear in

My wife.

I’m so riddled

By fear most

Of my life,

Always present.

This is why

I’m often grateful

For the lack

Of fear in

My wife.

Laconian Laundromat

I went into a

Laconian laundromat

With a bag filled with

Dirty clothes.

But nothing made any sense

So I left.

Sick Bed #2

Day four of

Whatever it is

Confining me to

This sick bed.

This sick bed

Is causing my

House to smell

Like a sick

House.

I gathered enough

Strength to walk

Out into my

Backyard and urinate

Under the avocado

And lemon trees.

I watched a

Hummingbird, remembered health

And then I

Walked like a

Sick man back

Into my sick

Bed.

God’s Drilling

When a boy

I thought the sound

Of an airplane

Moving across the sky

Was God drilling a hole

To get out.

Short Poetry

I’m not a very good poet,

Not like some poets I know.

That’s why I like to

Write short poetry.

Pencils, Erasers and Indignation

I feel indignation

Much of the time.

But then I remind myself,

We are just pencil lines

Drawn through infinite space

Soon enough to be erased.

The Plastic Clarinet

There is a plastic clarinet

On my dresser.

It is red,

With blue and yellow keys.

It stands there, erect

Waiting

For someone to play.

But I never do.

Not anymore at least.

Childhoods forever gone,

So I wonder why I still keep

The plastic clarinet.

Birds and Bicycles

Birds are bicycles

Moving across the sky.

Don’t believe what anyone else says.

When you are lonely

Get on your bicycle and go after them.

You will see what I mean.

Health Care

When sick

I try

Not to

Go to

Doctors.

Instead I

Spend hundreds

Of dollars

On natural

Supplements.

Throats sprays,

Immune herbs,

Nasal decongestants,

Colloidal silver,

Vitamin C,

Eucalyptus oil,

Reishi mushrooms,

Wellness Formula,

Zinc lozenges,

Raw honey,

And sometimes

A random

Lover.

I assault

My sickness

With every

Natural remedy

I can

Find and

Afford.

However now

That I

Am married

And older

Lovers are

No longer

Apart of

My health

Care.

Why I am Canceling Work Today

I’m a therapist.

When I am

Ill, your problems

make no sense

To me. Your

Problems, my problems-

All a luxury

Of health.

Strong Character

Most people

Judge but

That is

Only because

Their character

Is weak.

How many

Of you

Assholes write

An entire

Book of

Poetry while

Stuck in

Bed, sick

With flu?

This is

What I

Call strong

Character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Wrong

I hate cobwebs. I don’t like seeing them in the corners of my house or on my things. When I see them I will try and annihilate them.

This Person whom I am writing about does not do anything about the cobwebs. This Person lets the cobwebs grow everywhere, either not seeing them or not caring about them. Maybe This Person just expects someone else to take care of the hard work. This Person would let his/her entire house become one large cobweb and then maybe This Person might act to get rid of the cobwebs. But not before.

This Person is many people. Maybe you know This Person or someone like This Person. A person, who in your mind, is living wrong.

Obviously, This Person would disagree with all that I am writing here because the only way that This Person can remain This Person is through a continual defensive reflex. If they were not always defending themselves, they would have to change.

This person seems not to care about refining any sensibilities. Intellectual, aesthetic, environmental, political. Developing any or all of these sensibilities does not seem to appeal to This Person. Developing sensibilities takes hard work. A person has to remain curious and continually seek out challenging information and knowledge. They have to continually put themselves in uncomfortable situations. This Person prefers easy entertainment, comfort and simple distractions. Things that do not ask too much of them.

The artist Chuck Close said, “Whenever you reach a fork in the road, take the most difficult route because everybody else is going to be taking the easy route.” This Person always takes the easier route, thus never really distinguishing themselves in any one thing.

This Person is content being ok at things. Not bad, not great. Just ok. This Person does what they need to do to be good or ok at things and nothing more. This Person does not like hard work. This Person starts many things but struggles to stay engaged if it is too hard. Like I said This Person prefers what is easy. Simple distractions, sleep, hanging out, work if they must, doing what others force them to do but what they would rather not do (clean house, pay bills, clean car, take care of themselves, etc…)

This Person is not that driven to do much unless it is easy. This Person prefers to do the bare minimum to get by. They will work but not more than necessary. Sometimes they will have a burst of energy and get really into something, but it will not last unless the something is easy.

I can not help but think this is living wrong. In my mind it is important to excel at things. It is important to work hard at things that interest you. It is important to cultivate sensibilities and challenge yourself. It is important to develop your intellect. To put yourself in situations where you have to continually push yourself to do what is not easy. This is what it means to thrive.

Humans are like slabs of stone. As we grow we carve away at these stones creating shape and texture. Most people’s stones look ugly, lazy, basic and very unfinished. Most stones all look the same in this way. For most people carving the stone is just too hard and they give up, barely working on it anymore past the age of 45. A lot of people expect other people to carve their stone for them. They don’t want to do the work. To have a stone that looks distinguished, unique, one of a kind and has a beautiful shape- takes continual effort. You have to work hard on it for a bit everyday.

Even if it means maintaining a beautiful living environment. It is important to continually keep things in their right place. To not grow lazy with the care of your home. Once you let your home go and become comfortable with cobwebs everywhere, how can a person excel at anything in life? A person’s living environment and the care they take of it determines the degree to which they will be able to live right.

If This Person has the ways they are living all wrong pointed out to them they become immediately defensive and withdraw further into incapacitation. If you point out to This Person that they do not exercise, that they would benefit from being more physically active- this person will withdraw into more sedentariness. If you point out to This Person that they should challenge themselves more intellectually, they will read less intellectually challenging things. It is an unconscious and reflexive behavior.

Pointing out to This Person how they are living wrong is a battle that can not be won. All a person can do is accept that This Person is just not interested much in pushing themselves right now, in refining themselves, in differentiating themselves from the mass of people who take the easier route. A person can just pick up the slack where they can, continue to take the harder route within themselves and not worry about This Person who is living wrong.

Everyone is free to live their life in a way they feel is right. Maybe This Person thinks that I am living wrong.

Who am I to say that This Person is living wrong? Maybe they are living right! Maybe life is a meaningless experience and all of our efforts to refine and distinguish ourselves are ultimately all for nothing? Maybe if we could just learn to care less, let ourselves go a bit more, not care about the cobwebs that will continue to grow no matter how hard we try to get rid of them- maybe then we could have a happier life? Maybe the harder route isn’t that great after all.

Who am I to say? All I can do is live in a way that feels right for me and try not to force This Person away from living wrong. The moment I push, force, encourage or try and motivate This Person to move in a different direction is usually the moment I start living wrong.

Does Anyone Else Give A Shit?

This is bullshit.

I know we all want to keep our heads buried in the sand but the United States of America just dropped the largest bomb, next to a Nuclear bomb, on another sovereign country. What the hell? As if things were already not bad enough.

Maybe I am naïve but I believe if we just put on our wisdom caps, stepped back and left other people alone, they would leave us alone as well. No one wants to die, not even those we in the terrified West have been conditioned to see as bad guys.

Just like how I am now the bigger person and no longer start fights when my father tries to poke at me, things between us have mellowed out. If the United States could just be the bigger person, things would improve! But no, we have these angry, defensive and non-self actualized higher ups making all the moves.

Militants who attack people in the West use trucks, homemade bombs, powerful guns and other desperate inventions that can bring about their boiling desire for revenge. Militants who attack people in the Middle East use massive, high tech bombs and the wealthiest military in the world. Who is bullying who here?

Now I don’t know about you, but as a member of the general public, I am concerned. You see, when the United States of America does something like drop a massive bomb on another sovereign country, there is going to be repercussions in the West. It is a given. But those who make the decision to drop the bombs don’t care. Higher up officials are not nearly as vulnerable to attacks from militants because they do not shop in middle-class shopping malls. It is all of us who are greatly at risk.

You, me and everyone you know and love. All your friends on Facebook. Thanks American Military and the American Government. Thanks a lot. Way to be wise.

Now, because of decisions made by higher ups, we have all been made much more vulnerable to being harmed by those who are pissed off by America’s recent actions. To officials who are higher up, no matter what they say, we are all collateral damage for their agendas. The fact that those who make these decisions are higher up, implies that they are removed from all of us lower downs. This creates a separation that is necessary for the higher ups to make the kind of decisions they do. If they were also shopping in the mall down the street, they might not make the decisions they do.

So we have been put in harms way by them. Again.

I like my life. I like all the others around me to enjoy their lives. Life is a very precious resource. The moment it is lost, it is extinct. This is why I think those who make decisions that put other people’s lives in harms way are jerks, no matter how much justice and righteous they think they have on their side. Every militant, on any side, is fueled by the same sense of justice and righteousness. This is what makes them a militant!

And make no mistake about it, those who drop expensive bombs on sovereign countries, are militants, no matter how much they look like you.

I am fueled by wanting all people to just enjoy living their lives and this is what makes me not a militant.

Donald Trump and the American Military just made all of us lower down people, much more unsafe. We are all much more at risk now than last week. Actions speak louder than words. Donald Trump and the American Military may say they care about you and your family but if they did they would be the bigger person and stop dropping bombs. Just like with my father, I care about his health and mine so I have pulled back. In the end this is the only way to end conflict.

Everything else is just unevolved, hurt, defensive, egotistical, childish bullshit.

Lazy Girl, Lazy Girl, Lazy Girl.

Lazy girl, lazy girl, lazy girl.

You are one of the greatest sources of stress in my life and I love you so much.

But sometimes I feel like I hate you. It is your laziness that I do not like.

You seem more than willing to neglect the more important things in your life. You will do just enough to get by but then you want to retreat into your rabbit hole.

You get angry when I tell you to get off Instagram. You get pissed off when I say you sleep in too much. You do not want to hear about how I think you neglect developing your career or tending to your health. Oh no lazy girl, you just want me to let you be so you can do what you want.

But it drives me nuts lazy girl because I can not help but think you are neglecting everything important in a well lived life. Just because certain things are hard, is no reason to jump into your comfortable hole.

I wish I did not get so upset about your lazy ways, lazy girl. I wish I could just leave you alone. Let you be. So what if you neglect your health, taking care of your garden, your relationship, your closet, your house, your car. Why do I care that much? It is not like you are that bad, right lazy girl?

I don’t think so. I think you let so much slip away. You would rather spend hours lost in a smart phone rather than tending to what needs to be done. You would rather let your body lose its shape and your health lose its vigor than deal with the effort required to maintain these things. I know lazy girl- you just want to have fun. If it requires effort, you will do just enough to make it look like you are not letting everything go.

It drives me nuts. I hate lazy girl. Lazy girl is not good for me because she stresses me out and does not push me to be a better man myself. Lazy girl does not care what I do. Lazy girl leaves me alone to “be myself.” If I don’t exercise, if I drink too much, if I don’t pay bills, if I am depressed, if my health is going to shit- lazy girl does not seem to care. She does not say anything about it.

Lazy girl just wants everyone to get along and enjoy life. Do what you want, forget about it and leave me alone. Lazy girl prefers things being easy and sometimes confronting a person about how they are letting themselves go can be hard. It can be very stressful especially when you confront lazy girl because lazy girl doesn’t want to hear it. She wants to be left alone. My anger stresses lazy girl out and lazy girl does everything she can to avoid feeling any kind of stress.

How many times have you checked Instagram today lazy girl?

I don’t know what to do lazy girl. I love you so much, but man you are really stressing me out. My hair is falling out. My digestion is off. I am always tired and feeling unwell. You always tell me what is the big deal. Why are you getting so upset. Just leave me alone. But lazy girl, see what the stress you do not want to face is doing to me?

But then why do I care so much? Why can’t I just let lazy girl be lazy girl? Why can’t I just put my ideas about how I think a productive and healthy person should be to rest. Why can’t I just leave lazy girl alone to be lazy girl? I can pick up the slack. I can try and just take care of myself. I can make an effort not to be a lazy guy. Why do I have to care so much that lazy girl is choosing to wake up in the morning and go right on her smart phone?

Because it drives me nuts!

A person should be more focused on the important things in their life! A person should take care of their health! Walk their dogs! Tend to their garden! Make their partner the priority! Tend to their house! A person should not do just enough to get by and then let everything else slide!

But lazy girl does not want to hear this. If I tell lazy girl this she starts to cry. Her tears are not tears of sadness, they are tears of rage. Lazy girl wants to be left alone. Lazy girl does not want to be told that she is being lazy girl. Lazy girl can not handle having her flaws pointed out to her. This is why she is lazy girl after all. Lazy girl doesn’t want to deal with the difficulties that are unavoidable aspect of living a healthy and disciplined life.

Lazy girl just wants me to leave her alone. Lazy girl just wants to have fun. Lazy girl wants to take off her clothes, have a cocktail (or three) and invite everyone to jump in. Fuck tomorrow, lazy girl thinks. Lets play today.

 

The Frustrated Layabout

My wife tells me that she thinks I have Borderline Personality Disorder. “Just a few hours ago you were saying how much you love just being home, how much you have everything you need here and now you are saying that you do not do enough with your life, that you and I are not getting enough done, that we are lazy and that you are very dissatisfied with everything.”

I tell my wife that I think she has Bipolar Disorder and is addicted to her iPhone. “I don’t know what it is with you. You go from being really energetic and all over the place to being depressed and sluggish. There is no in-between with you and you are continually checking your iPhone! All through the day you cannot stay away from it for more than ten minutes at a time. It is a full-on addiction you have!”

When we are sitting around in our living room we usually end up getting into it like this. But then she will do something nice or I will say something that makes her laugh and then everything will be all right. For a bit. But then I will say stop eating the whole bag of chips or please stop making a mess or get off your phone and then our problems start all over again.

You see, I am miserable in my life. I try not to be and sometimes I succeed. But for the most part I can’t get any goddamn satisfaction (unless I have two or three drinks in me). What is my problem? Why can I not just sit around and be happy at rest? This feeling that there are always things to get done or things that I am avoiding getting done lingers around in me. This feeling like I am not doing enough, that I am letting things go, that I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing follows me around like a bad cold. The strange or dysfunctional thing is that I usually do nothing about it.

You see, who I really am is a frustrated Layabout. A Layabout is a person who does not want to do anything outside of certain things that are subjectively enriching for them (reading, listening to music, napping, eating, going for walks, watching pornography and on and on). A Layabout is often seen as the kind of person who is very lazy. Who does not get much done. Who prefers doing nothing. A frustrated Layabout is stuck in between. They want to be better about being happy in a state of non-doing but there is a part of them that feels like they always need to be accomplishing something. It is a tormented state to be in.

Doing nothing, going nowhere, interacting with no one, letting time drift aimlessly by– this is what being a Layabout is all about. It is about getting nothing done except being present with the moment by moment non-directed flow of your life. A Layabout gets great pleasure from being free of all obligations, all things that must get done. The difference between a Layabout and a procrastinator is that a procrastinator is pissed off and self-hating about all the things they fail to get done whereas a Layabout does not care. A Layabout has completely given up and let go. They do not care about making more money or achieving more of anything really. There is nothing more important than just being free from everything that needs to get done, letting the world go and drifting through each moment of life. In a society obsessed with work, what a liberating experience being a Layabout is when done right!

Doing nothing. Existing in a state of complete idleness. Letting things go. Just watching the afternoon pass by. These are remarkable experiences that are highly underrated in a culture that is obsessed with accomplishment and getting things done. These poor people always running around trying to catch their own tails have no idea how nice it is to just let it all go. To say, fuck it, who cares. This is the fundamental philosophical principal of the Layabout.

Fuck it, who cares that I have not returned those emails or text messages. Fuck it, who cares that I am months late paying my taxes. Fuck it, who cares that I have lost my drivers license and have not bothered to get a new one for months. Fuck it, who cares that I have for years failed to get myself life, health and car insurance. Fuck it, who cares that I have not gone to the dentist or gotten a colonoscopy. Fuck it, who cares that I have not bothered to pay my bills or fill out necessary paperwork for an extension on various loan repayments. Fuck it, who cares that I have not done all the paper work I need to get done for my job. Fuck it, who cares that I have not become more successful in the world. Fuck it, who cares that I have not yet published novels. The list of fuck it, who cares goes on and on.

Strangely enough, this is actually a very enjoyable and enriching way to go through one’s life, if a person can avoid getting upset with themselves about all the things they are saying fuck it, who cares about.

You see a Layabout knows what is most important in life. A Layabout knows that life can end at any moment and all the things that humans preoccupy themselves with ultimately are futile and do not matter in the end. A Layabout does not get caught up in any of it but when they do they turn into a procrastinator or even worse- someone like me with Borderline Personality Disorder. When this does happen the Layabout needs to tell themselves to relax, to return to a present moment state in which they are not worried or unhappy about anything. They need to go take a nap, listen to music or just go sit in their backyard (if they have not lost their house yet) and watch the day go by. Just let it all go man, let it all go.

Who cares about doing things. Doing nothing is the ultimate goal of any real Layabout. Just being free in this moment. This is what matters most. Let the future take care of itself. Fuck it, who cares. Just drift. Society fills us with so many unnecessary things that take up so much space in our temporary lives. Fuck it, who cares.

But I can’t stop feeling like there is all this stuff I must get done. I need a drink and it’s only noon.

“Hey Honey, get off your fucking phone and do something with your life!”

Leonard Cohen Died Tonight

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Prince, then David Bowie and now Leonard Cohen. What a terrible year this has been for those of us deeply touched and taught by these creative visionaries.

Leonard Cohen was once a wild man. Then he became a Buddhist monk. But he was still a wild man, even when he was a Buddhist monk. I love the story of him sneaking out behind the meditation hall early one morning to drink his coffee and smoke a cigarette.

A lover of women, words, good whiskey and wine. A fine poet indeed. A man with impeccable style, in so many more ways than just how he wore his clothes. The kind of youthful charm Leonard Cohen had well into old age, was proof that a man can grow old without growing old. Every time you heard him speak you listened and learned something original and new. A real philosopher and poet he was. Not many, if any, around like him anymore.

Leonard why did you have to go? I know you were almost really old, but couldn’t you hang around a few more years? I am not quite ready to make a go of this without you in the world.

His novels, poetry and songs where doorways into imaginative landscapes and lovescapes, the likes of which a person never heard before. Without even knowing it was happening he taught you how to live and how to die. This world will no longer be the same place without him in it.

I don’t know as much about Leonard Cohen’s songs, books and poetry as I probably should. I know the basics of Leonard Cohen’s life but I can’t tell you specifics from his biography. For me Leonard Cohen was an example of how to live as a man and an artist. It is strange to me that I have the deepest reverence and respect for a man I have never met. I studied his interviews and from that I learned what I needed to know. I have his album Songs Of Love And Hate hanging on my wall, in the same way that someone would hang a cross or a picture of their hero.

I suppose this is what Leonard Cohen meant to me. He was my teacher. He was a man who spoke more eloquently about how to live life and deal with the various demons he struggled with than any other man I have heard speak. He made me feel less alone with my demons and despair. He showed me the way to deal; through solitude, meditation, occasional nights filled with wine and women, books, music and filling up journals with words and art.

How many people become icons but continue to live in very humble conditions, on the second floor of a small home (his daughter and her family live below) in a lower economic neighborhood? He didn’t care much for more ostentatious material things. Money was not his main thing. How rare to find a human being (especially a successful one in America) who puts his art and his life before preoccupations with money, status and more materialistic things.

In today’s America, it is the poets and artists who go unseen. No one talks about them. Leonard Cohen broke through the thick cloud of obscurity and showed generations of artists and poets that they do not have to live a defeated, delegitimized and conformist life. He showed artists, poets and writers that there are alternative ways of living where you can keep your edge and remain in the poetry.

I could be wrong but I think Leonard Cohen somehow knew me. I often felt like he was talking right at me, especially when talking about isolation, loneliness, women, love and art. But I know everyone who loved him felt this way. That is what made him so great and this is what makes things feel so much more hollow and empty now that he is gone.

Thank you for everything Leonard Cohen. You were such a class act. I will continue to live the things you taught. Hallelujah.