Friday, July 30, 2010

rubai: "what are words?"

Back to words from silence once again
back to sunlight in the wake of rain
what are words? can anybody say?
back to something words cannot explain

Sunday, July 25, 2010

sher: signs of the times

Diminished grandiosity   increased sophistication
by valuing velocity   we've slighted contemplation

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Century City ditty

By Avenue of the Stars   I enter a building
they dub this half-mile of earth   Century City
everybody works!   to such imperatives yielding
I apply for a modest job   Ganesh have pity!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"An exquisite piece of meaningless versification" [villanelle]

An exquisite piece of meaningless versification
is this a description of what I generally do here?
it's hard to explain without noting reincarnation

is poetry culture's placebo? what information
is purveyed by the mumbo-jumbo we oft' pursue here
in exquisitries of meaningless versification?

nirvana (mutually assured destruction)'s relation
to moksha (freedom's release) isn't spankingly new here
it's hard to explain without noting reincarnation

say you're riding a train & passing many a station
with your nose to the window lost in the scenic view here?
an exquisite piece of meaningless versification

say you're running on empty striving for integration
what's the context wherein the pieces at last congrue here?
it's hard to explain without noting reincarnation

the finger that points to the moon is an indication
denoting the obvious like what we oft' review here
an exquisite piece of meaningless versification
it's hard to explain without noting reincarnation


poem occasioned by this paragraph:
From the very start, the American reception of yoga was a blend of rhapsodic spiritualism and harder-nosed skepticism. In 1857, inspired by the burgeoning Orientalist intellectual movement, Emerson published a poem titled "Brahma" in the very first issue of the Atlantic magazine. Emerson's poem played with the yogic idea of nondualism: Everything is god; difference is illusory. "Sunlight and shadow are the same," he wrote. Prefiguring mainstream impatience that remains to this very day, the New York Times called the poem an "exquisite piece of meaningless versification." Needless to say, that didn't impede the transcendentalist fascination with the mystical East.
from this article: Why Americans Love Yoga [at]

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spiritual calculations [ditty]

There are forty thousand words per novel?
there are sixty thousand breaths per week
should you breathe within a novel hovel
you'd exceed two billion ways to seek

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"On silence day" (ghazal)

If it's not my fate to accomplish my aim   at least I've tried
so the dice were loaded at start of the game?   at least I've tried

is the cosmos one big fiasco?   this pantomime spells what?
if I can't discern what's behind form & name   at least I've tried

every stone is a token of something   each leaf inkles life
if such vivid efforts prove futile & vain   at least I've tried

on silence day all the monkey business goes on like normal
if from monkey-chatter I'll rarely refrain   at least I've tried

Raphael you're over fifty?   go browse the scrawl on the wall
"if I've failed to kindle an undying flame   at least I've tried"

on silence day (Wikipedia)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Questions of identity on Venice Boulevard

With Borges amid my Trader Joe's bag   I enter the local bank
"there's another David R. Israel" the teller tells the one called "I"
that I am myself instead of that guy   what being have I to thank?
who jots these thoughts on the 33 bus till Beethovan Street comes by?