Sometimes I am spirit,
and sometimes I am mind.
Sometimes I have ever been
and cannot see it
sometimes I can clearly see
that I have not.
But annihilation is a hard abstraction,
and I know not whether to pity
or admire those who have embraced it
as their beginning and their end.

Perhaps I will live forever
in these words;
perhaps they will die with
my consciousness when I go.

I wonder:
if my parents had not met,
would I live life as someone else
or simply never have existed at all?
I fear I wouldn’t exist
with this only as my consolation:
I would not know I didn’t
and will not when I don’t.


Across the pond the willow tree
in gentle swaying majesty
tosses her lengthy locks of hair
in the breeze that sings through the morning air.
She fixes a bird on her head like a pin,
and, when the water is still as a glass, gazes in.
Then, lest she should err, I wander around
to the shore where she stands on the uneven ground
and tell her such measures are not to be borne,
for the willow tree’s beauty looks best unadorned.


The Herd

We move –
to the beat of music and of urban sounds,
with the formless bustling of a thronging heard
and to the steady surging of the clock
that chaos made and humans bridled for their own –
we move
with confidence wherever we go
by every means we can devise
that this noise us from nature has excused,
with hardly glance toward the encompassing sky.


What does it mean to own a thing?
To have a rightful claim to it
which the consensus ratifies?
To create, deserve, or control something?
Do these words belong to me,
that came from my unconscious mind
and are not kept, but spread abroad?
I cannot say who now will read them,
nor change what their effect will be:
they have gotten already away from me.
Thus it is with life and words,
with feelings, thoughts, and actions:
we only own what we own no longer –
by claim of memories.


They walk around like animated corpses,
eyes glazed, feet moving them automatically onward, hungry,
toward individual destiny.
Eyes on their phones,
buds in their ears, connected, and
completely unconnected.
Each one of them knows they are the exception.
The only exception.
This they know better than anything,
This they know regardless and
in spite of what they learn or do in life.
This they have been taught above all else,
in classes, movies, and sacred text,
on billboards, on websites, and in the stars;
this alone they believe:
“You are special.”
“You are different.”
will change the world.”
And so they wander, starving corpses,
without purpose, feasting always
on the empty promise of immortality
dangling ever before them on a string
that hangs from their ears, meets at the chin,
and plugs in to their phone.