Sunday, February 25, 2018

The weather isn't good.

Is the wind strong?

Yes, it is.

This evening I felt weak from it leaning against me.

It is a lonely wind. Even a strong wind can be lonely.

At midnight it is snowing.
I go out.
Under an umbrella, drinking tea,
I stand near the swelling river.
The rising water makes a crushing sound.
Something broken washes away.

Early morning rises, reluctant,
undercover, insulate.

You are living alone, sleeping alone, traveling alone,
and resolute, alone and self-disciplined. 

Take pleasure in living in the forest.

Dhammapada 21. 305

Saturday, February 24, 2018

waning gibbous
the moon
green and white

of the


as into

or out of


(find it)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

   It is snowing. I have been lost in the hours of snow, in the minutes of cold that slip through the cracks of the day's chores. More snow is coming. The outside sounds are muffled more, as the door that allows in the chill seconds cannot now close.


   I see a sow in the snow. She is a color that is between white and whiter. They are so many words for white but this one slips by, escapes me. I have no memory of the word I want, as I have no memory of the last snow, though I know both cover everything in still and smooth.
  A sow in snow, now nosing forward. She's dragging a leash behind her, a long tail listing in her lumpy  wake. I ache watching her furrowing away, fading into falling flakes.


That color! Yes. It's the color of an old woman's hair, first coming through the skin, as thread thin or thick, downy white from foot to crown.  The old woman I am dreaming of is dancing naked, bare from tip to top. Her skin is colored like a shell, cold mottled and ridged in palest pink, olive, tawny gold, ebony. Where she turns, I follow a swerve of twirling lines, short and long. I watch her arms and legs bristle and flatten wet, her thin pubic hair send out star drops, her long mane surge and whirl around her. She is turning and turning and turning, curling in conch-like about herself. Her face is hidden by her flying hair. I want to believe she is smiling at me. What color? What color white is the right word, the one that could sign and deliver this white?


   The best I can offer myself from myself to remember this snow show is the made-up clip of a Tibetan outlaw quest. Just as he is losing everything, falling down a mountain, or maybe into a lake, or wait, on a slope, there's an opening in a drift from which this Tibetan outlaw is plucked, by the hand of a man. Afterwards, when he's been laid on the ground downwind and almost out of this world, I reimagine him as the dying repentant, dying open to grace and goodness. His breath will fall as he did, and rise rattling up softly, quietly.  As the snow blows, so he'll go. He'll disappear into the whites around him. Stones? I thought stones for a cairn for him. And an epitaph, something like he sought, he fought, he lost, he won. As I build this scene, I begin to forget. The white comes fiercely, carried on light, furious flakes. Dazed, I leave the Tibetan outlaw laying under a drift in the driving snow.


A soothing muse, that's traffic in snow, like the blow of a whispered consonant or the wisp exhalation before full stop, rest. Quiet. Passages of words, the right ones, the discarded and obsolete ones, limits and laws of stopping and steering forward, the speed of them, the special power of some and not others. There are signs above, at corners, the rules to obey, the direction and cadence to use to continue. The snow makes them difficult to read, so we mark location, locution, and remember, It's all very quiet, this remembering, hushed, whooshed watery through consciousness.


I'm watching the snow. I've lifted up my hands, the palms smoothing mountains, nothing but winds waiting outside, all that I will find.  No sow now, or dead man, no stones to settle, nothing but snow.
I know it's a dream, but it seems so real, this white storm hummocking away from me.  I could swear it's fleeing, as though seeing me in this window, my warmth fogging circles on the glass, frightens it.


into my eyes
she said
I see
you'll work
another twenty years
what is the value of nothing?

new moon
nineteen degrees

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

don't think
a little

it's done.



waning crescent
seventeen degrees

Sunday, February 11, 2018

s n o w
s u t r a

reduce contradiction
increase alignment

reduce alignment
increase contradiction

reduce increases
increase reduction

contradict alignment
align contradiction


waning crescent
24 degrees


The door







Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sunday, February 4, 2018

eido roshi
of english language
that is
problems of dualism
difficulty accepting
the unnameable


c u r r i c u l a (u m s)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

the snow
falling, falling, falling
in the first hours of
the fourth year

the wayside hut
cut down
the forest
for it's tinder
to burn
into longing
for a fire's set
from the storm
stay warm
no forest
no fire
no desire
snow though
a thin thread
of smoke

Friday, February 2, 2018

Die erste Elegie
Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel
Ordnungen? und gesetzt selbst, es nähme
einer mich plötzlich ans Herz: ich verginge von seinem
stärkeren Dasein. Denn das Schöne ist nichts
als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wir noch grade ertragen,
und wir bewundern es so, weil es gelassen verschmäht,
uns zu zerstören. Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angelic orders? And even if one of them pressed me
suddenly to his heart: I'd be consumed
in his stronger existence. For  beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror, which we can just barely endure.
and we stand in awe of it as it coolly disdains
to destroy us. Every angel is terrifying.

- trans. by edward snow