Wednesday, April 09, 2014

anima

.





like a wild horizon
serengeti…wild windswept
grass….
our souls…our egos
hiding….stalking
alert
…hearts pounding
fear….the bongo beat
of this land(e)scape
…..fear
rules the jungle
ears perked
….ready to run
head down…
ready to pounce
…ready
to sink teeth into 
your neck
…until you submit
completely
..to soothe my hunger
I don’t want to
…..sta
rve

(ever notice..how
animal parents abandon their young
as soon as they can walk on their own…
….they cannot bear the shame..)

my antelope ego…
..so afraid
running
…running
endless running

I live..
because
I’m afraid
…to die

and they sit there
in their plush chairs
…watching me on giant
Imax screens
and James Earl Jones
is…telling my story
…and it hurts
because I’m right there
in the audience
..and theres no where
to run
…and no one
to tear apart
in the sterile silence

and suddenly
the giant screen..rips open
and the serengeti comes aLIVE
…and the animals are running
everyones running
….for their friggin lives
and I’m in my element
in ways…
no one can understand

fear rules the anima
once again

war..love….life
money…luxury…fame
Its all
FEAR

under all the suits..and smiles
the beauty….and the lipstick
..the ties..and ropes
the buildings and spires
cocky in the sky
….
lies….the serengeti
of anima

you and me
stalking
each other
in the
…tall grass








Thursday, March 27, 2014

waiting

.

life gets really tiring
..when you're waiting
chasing
..and waiting
relentless waiting
only to realize
..that what you're waiting for
already
....happened



.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

highway love/hate

.


a quick 75 mile per hour glance
…tells a tale of faceless camaraderie
our children
..both honor students
we both cheer for the Devils
and love our Apple products
…and we both would like to
restore the shore

But…right now
there’s no one on earth
that I HATE as intensely as you
…how DARE you
CUT ME OFF

…you BASTARD!



.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

words

.



words
little words
little messengers
of thoughts, emotions and feelings
so unreliable…

I pack my deepest…
..emotions 
the ones that fill my universe
with light and dark
…with pain
and euphoria
I pack them onto your
syllables and consonants
..your rounded and pointy backs

(how do you pack thoughts...
as large as the universe and as intense
as love..onto such meager little things?)

and deliver them to you
not knowing 
...how they’ll arrive
not knowing how 
..theyll be unpacked 
in yours

oh words
pathetic little messengers
of thought
..emotion and feeling

…you’re all I have





.

Monday, September 30, 2013

life?

life?

a flower plucked
...from it's source
so beautiful

..fragrant and
colorful
every second

another second closer
to wilting

and we
....ahhh
such a beautiful
Bouquet

born
...plucked from her/his
source

start the clock ticking

breathe

breathe

tick...tick...tick

so
...beautiful


Life
.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

nouns are just fillers


.


running...
..dirty disheveled

avoiding the hot gazes
..of those on high horses
and others resting on their laurels

I turn around
outofbreath
..and yell at the top my lungs

God has no use
.....for nouns


.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

chasing dreams

.


the evidence would suggest
I just know I'm awake..
..but I think somehow
that if I keep my eyes closed
...I can somehow go back
to the other side
...where they must be wondering
where I am
But the memory fades so fast
...30 seconds later
I try..and try..I can see a color
a balcony..
..I run down the narrow alleyway
chasing him..or her?
until the cobblestone itself
..starts to disappear
under my feet
..and then the color


and I open my eyes


.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

pollination

.

the other day
...I took a nap in my hammock
really not sure how long

...but I woke up
coated in yellow dust
...like a mold..everyhwere
grass growing in my throat
....weeds in my eyelids
flowers on my legs and arms

oh how I pity mother earth
...with no fingers to
scratch herself with


.



Thursday, April 04, 2013

Duped again..






.








i cant believe i fell for it


...again


the promises etched
..on the beautiful label
perfect font 
beautiful
...bottle


the promises 
...and hints
of raspberries
and cherry casket
...strawberry
bouquets

...oh and the medleys
they speak of
I longed to hear
..effervescent
with dark undertones
silky..full bodied
...and yet balanced

oh...
...how I always fall for that


and promises of journeys
..to tuscany
burgundy
....silly me

always the same
...pungent taste
puckered grimace
...not a raspberry in sight
nor medley heard

suitcases packed
...nowhere to go



.

Friday, March 15, 2013

my silver cloud






I took my silver cloud
......into the pawn shop (whistling)


Only to be told
....that it's just the lining

that's real


And that it has no
....value




and now the lining won't
...go back on


.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

stop fighting!

.

children fight all the time...
...and somehow
we manage to pull
..them apart and call
a truce

but the hardest fights
...to separate
are the ones between
our children
...and the inner child
inside
...ourselves


.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dubious Rights

.

2. The right to Bear Arms.


5. The right to remain silent


.....forever silent shhh
.


.





Monday, December 17, 2012

I cry....





Sadness...just utter sadness is all I've felt since Friday. The tears seem ready 24/7..at the mere mention of the word Newtown.  Complete strangers to me. Chances are very good that not one of those killed would have ever crossed my path at any point of my life. And yet..the emotion is so strong.

I cry for the children..but also for the very concept of childhood...that has been so violated.


I cry for humanity. For the soul that inhabits my being...


People love throwing around the world Evil...


Evil is where the boundaries of our empathy end. 


The spot where we are no longer ready to accept human failing..there we create a black curtain, and anything beyond that spot we simply call evil and are satisfied.


Alcoholism and many other conditions used to be evil..but now we've invited them into our side of the curtain for the most part.


I cry for the inability to accept humanity completely..


I cry for innocence..which children represent and deep down we all wish we could find inside ourselves.


I cry for the fact that adults cannot elicit the same tears that children do.


For in adults we see our own failings and fears projected..


But most of all..I cry


for the last horrible moments these angels had to endure


...and for the many years that their parents and loved ones will yet grieve




Thursday, December 06, 2012

my own redemption













According to tradition, the flames of the Menorah are a manifestation of the Ohr Haganuz, the Hidden Light, which is hidden away for the Redemption.




Chanukah is when we take the light of redemption and bring it into the here and now.


It's when the universal redemption becomes personal.


Instead of reacting to adversity with "oy we need moshiach.." we achieve a personal state of mind where the adversity is not overwhelming.


It's rising above..pettiness.


It's putting together the fragmentation that brings duality and unsettledness into our lives.


The Ohr Haganuz the Hidden Light is set aside for the days of universal redemption but on Chanukah we can access it easily, meditate in her ethereal glow  and with it experience personal redemption.




The Bais Yosef asked the famous question, why is Chanukah eight days if the miracle was only seven. 


And now I wonder perhaps it is only seven days, but after seven days of light and having achieved a measure of personal redemption how can one not wish the same on the rest of the world. And so we light one more night and we pronounce Zos Chanukah..This is Chanukah instinctively in our desire for the greater Geula.






Happy Chanukah


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We've had it wrong...



I'm sorry..Socrates
..Plato and Kant
you've had it all wrong
Marx and Voltaire
...completely misunderstood
what humanity has been
...striving for
since the dawn of time
No..no class warfare..
..or utopian dreams
none of that..it seems
after one quick glance
..at youtubes top ten
of bitten fingers
...and korean horse dancing men
and you cannot help
but wonder
...if the worlds masses
all this time have been
yearning for the freedom
to make
.....silly videos...

that's all

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I love you Mr. Csikszentmihalyi

.

I was recently reading a book and I came across this awesome quote from the famous psychologist (I'll assume he's famous if he's quoted in a book) Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I've always known it to be true but just seeing it in worlds filled me with such joy. It needs to be shouted from the rooftops and told a thousand times to our children.

In his book Flow he discusses the benefits of having a talent or skill set. People who have talents and skills are generally happier than those that don't. And then he adds..
"It is not the skills that we actually have that determine how we feel, but the ones we think we have."

Read it again and again until you internalize it completely..



What a freeing concept...


.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thoughts on living in the 19th century






It's been an unforgettable few weeks in New Jersey and now that it seems to be behind us I'd like to share a few thoughts on my experience.

First of all I don't think I've ever heard such confusion as to what that thing called Sandy was.
Was it a hurricane? A superstorm ? A frankenstorm? A superfreakinfrankinstorm?

Then it plunged us all into the 19th century. No water, no heat and no power, which meant finding creative ways to get water, like placing buckets under the gutters and using lots of firewood to stay warm.
People back in those days lived on average 30 years less than we did. I get the feeling that they didn't mind at all.
Each day feels like a year when all the things we take for granted needed hard work to achieve.

But on the other hand they must have been happier. If your daily goal is to survive and you achieve that goal then every day is a success.
And the day that you fail, well..you won't be there to feel that disappointment.

Oh and one other thing.
Please don't tell me to stop complaining because other people lost their homes.
Next time you have a toothache I'll tell you to be quiet because there are people's out there with cancer.

Btw I'm not complaining. It was an experience.
.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Beauty and The Beast





you took away
...my heat
my water
and power
You took down
....my favorite trees

But when I go out
...and look at you
I can't stay mad
.......for long


.

Friday, November 02, 2012

washed away





must have been about
..8 weeks ago or so
we were walking along
..the pier
on that picture perfect
afternoon

when I saw my favorite
...roller coaster
the one
...right at the edge
hovering over the waves
...and so I convinced
my 12 year old daughter
...to join me

she was terrified as it climbed
...and climbed
(and so was I)
...and then when it made that turn
above the ocean
before plunging..down and up
..and by the 5th time
we rode that thing
..our hands were in the air
without a care
in the world


..and today I feel
as if
...the memory itself
has been so brutally
violated
...and washed away




Friday, October 26, 2012

Election 12


The Ba'alei Mussar say that a person should be concerned with his own spiritual and the next persons physical well being and not the other way around.

The Republican Party is way too concerned with their own physical well being and the next persons spirituality.


.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

God is an Existentialist

.

People think that Sartre is incompatible with religion.

I disagree.

There's s Midrash in last weeks Parsha
V'Ha'aretz Haysa Sohu V'Vohu...eilu ma'aseihem shel resha'im
VaYomer Elokim VaYehi Ohr...eilu ma'aseihem shel tzadikim
Aval eini yodeia b'eizeh meihem chofetz...keivan dichsiv Va'Yar Elokim Es HaOr Ki Tov...bma'aseihem shel tzadikim ani chofetz.....

What is going on here?
Hashem says I see the deeds of the righteous and of the wicked and its not certain which I'd rather have. Until the Torah reveals that He'd rather the deeds of the righteous.

What I think is going on here is that the Midrash is revealing something incredible here.
Hashem is saying. There's nothing objectively right in the deeds of the righteous over the deeds of the wicked. There's nothing intrinsically pulling Him in one direction over the other...after all they're both a manifestation of his kingship (rewarding righteous and punishing wicked).
It's Hashems SUBJECTIVE choice that makes him favor the righteous. Because he wants to.

It's the same with us. We're so used to thinking that our tasks are laid out for us objectively.
We underestimate the power of our choices and we take away our autonomy by viewing the world that way.
We must put ourselves first and give everything in the world subjective value. This means even putting ourselves before God in Choosing to believe in Him. We believe in Hashems because we subjectively want to.
This gives us tremendous power and adds so much more value to our choices.

.




Friday, October 12, 2012

there's this cheese

.


there's this cheese
...it always catches my attention
in the supermarket

..it costs $5.99

..and every time I pass
the brightly lit refrigerated
....row of cheeses
I think to myself
...one day when I'm a
millionaire

I'm going to buy
.....that cheese


.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

In the Shadow of Faith


.

We find the Jewish year anchored by two long holidays, Pesach and Sukkos.
The main Mitzvah of Pesach is eating matzah which is called Michla D'heimnusa, the bread of faith while the prime Mitzvah of Sukkos is sitting in the Sukkah which is called Tzila D'heimnusa, in the shadow of faith.
We have two objects representing faith, one is ingested inside us while the other surrounds and enfolds us. Many have already questioned why this is so, but based on my last post perhaps it can be understood as follows.

On Pesach the Jews placed great faith in Hashem by following Him out of Egypt into an intimidating barren unknown desert. All they had was some crustly hastily baked Matzah. Hashem still recalls those days fondly "Ko Amar Hashem..Zacharti Lach Chessed Nearayich..Lechtech Acharei Bamidbar...etc".
So we internalize our faith in Hashem every year by taking the Matzah inside ourselves.

On Sukkos which is right after Yom Kippur, Hashem places his faith in US and in our resolutions.  He grants us a good year because he believes in us.
So when we enter the Sukkah, the Shadow of Faith, Hashem is ingesting US. It's not our faith that we're talking about but Hashems. He internalizes his faith is us by taking us inside Himself.


.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Double Faith






We stand before the king with our requests and needs.
Please give us health...
And sustenance.
And life...
Our chances our pretty good.


But then we need to ruin it by saying...
Oh god not just for us but for my entire village...nah for the entire nation of Israel.
What kind of idiot does that?
What are the chances of that happening?
When was the last time a full year when by and EVERYONE had life, health and sustenance?
And yet we don't look at that...we have faith that this might just be that year...



God looks down at us asking for forgiveness.
He must wonder.
Gee this sounds familiar.
Didn't you promise me the same things last year?
When was the last time a year went by without you dirtying yourself with the same sins.
And yet He doesn't look at that.
V'chol Ma'aminim SheHu Eil Emunah. God has faith...that perhaps this might just be the year.



.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The terror of Din

The reason why we are so calm and collected on the Day of Judgement is because as opposed to regular court cases where the judgement is in the hands of a judge or jury on Rosh Hashana we are in our own hands. We are defendant but we are also prosecutor and essentially we are judge and jury as well. It's entirely in our hands.
So why is it do terrifying?
That's precisely what makes it so terrifying.
Change is such a small thing but you have to REALLY want it.

The fact that we might miss out on this little thing called change and the underlying premise that we don't really want it enough.....that's the terror of these days.



Friday, September 07, 2012

an orphan gets no closure


Hiding in the closet..
.....hands over ears
running from my fears
Of early years
Why have you come back?
Does you lie miss mine?
And you...
Why must I now coddle the confused
and exhausted Monster that abused
Me all those years...

An orphan gets no closure
....when his parents are
Still alive



Friday, August 31, 2012

location location location


If I plaCe mySelf
.....at the center of
my universe


I will never be
....on the fringe
.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

the artists dilemma

.

I'm really just
...just a poor simple boy
don't need much
...just little things and love

but
If I don't get
...rich and famous

how
will anyone
...know that?

.



Monday, August 13, 2012

Barbaric America..?


.

As someone who loves history I often come across an opportunity to stand in judgement. It's so easy to point to this group or that group in the past and label them cruel and barbaric. 
However I think it's foolish to judge in retrospect. I think during an era, the people living in that era can only access the subjectiveness of that particular time and place and don't have the luxury that we have of seeing the world through the subjective view of a more enlightened time. 
Many of the Torahs laws seem to reflect actions which to a man of 2012 might seem backward. But the Torah was written for all generations and so if in a certain generation it might perfectly natural then it too must be legislated.
To take this to an opposite extreme, I have a hard time judging those of a bygone era that were terrible to Jews. 
Imagine you're a poor peasant living in the dark ages. Life is very scary. Plagues, infant mortality, poverty and invading armies. It's a superstitious time. There's no science so everything is explained through supernatural forces. You believe with all your heart and soul in your religion. And living in your town are these strange people whose ancestors killed your god. Who am I to judge? It's all about subjective perspective.

Likewise, I believe that there will come a time when America will be judged harshly. 

That's right, we Americans of today will be called cruel by a more sensitive and enlightened generation.

I think the American Judicial system is a nightmare.
People will have a hard time believing that for a financial crime a person could be locked up for 30-40-50 years! 
If you think about it, it really is barbaric, but we don't think about it because we're living it and so it's just natural.
In the Torah if someone steals money it must be repaid and sometimes with added financial consequences. But to be removed from your life for decades??
It's your subjective reality but in someone else's subjective reality it's cruelty.

I think our love of gossip and TV shows whose ratings are fueled by the humiliation and misfortune of others will be viewed the same way we look back at the Romans gladiator games. After all, they were the most enlightened civilization the world had ever known.
Millions of Americans sit down each night and laugh as people make fools of themselves or find themselves in unfortunate situations. After all we are the most enlightened civilization the world has ever known.

This is just scratching the surface but I'm just trying to paint a stark picture of how warped and tainted our view of reality. How difficult it is to truly see things as they are when you're stuck inside the subjectiveness of the present time and place.


.

Monday, August 06, 2012

seven little gifts



you knew
...how badly I'd miss you
of course you knew

you knew
...even though I'd forget you
I'd still miss you

so you left me
...seven little gifts
to rearrange
...and through which
you will always be able
..to talk to me
and I to you
sometimes...in joy
sometimes sad
...but with these seven little
gifts...you'll never be
....too far



.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

early morning anguish

so vivid so clear
I lay there in my bed
in my own head
heart beating fast
So close to that fast fading
dream
......that vision of you
so desperately clinging
Another minute then another
rolling over trying to get back
.....Into that netherworld
Where I see you sometimes
Another minute
and the vision now
just snapshots
And another
and my anguish
evolves as even that
.........fades
and now my anguish
is for......
.....the anguish itself
...


Have an easy fast.
.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The House on Jupiter

Jupiter, Solar System 2135
It's been 3 years since the first settlers started setting up settlements on this largest planet of them all.
Everything was going exactly as planned and an entire city was already operational. The houses and buildings were constructed of ultra light titanium
There wasn't much going on to speak of aside for one perplexing phenomenon that had everyone a little spooked.
Just a few weeks after moving in, a few boys decided to take a stroll outside the settlement perimeters. After a few hours of uneventful walking, they were stopped cold by the sound of what appeared to be banging and human groaning. They came back and told everyone what they had heard. People began sneaking over there to hear for themselves in droves and soon everyone had their own theory as to the source of those sounds. A few months later a group of scientists were sent from earth to investigate.
They scoffed at the locals and said that there were no such things as mysteries and everything could be understood. They followed the source of the sounds carefully behind some giant rock formations and stumbled upon a house. It was a simple white single dwelling wood siding earth home and looked ridiculously out of place on the chalky surface of Jupiter. The scientists had no way to get into the house. The doors wouldnt budge and the windows were boarded.  The mystery only deepened as people would congregate on a daily basis and stand in awe and veneration in front of the mystery house with the strange knocking and groaning much to the chagrin of the scientists.
Finally after a few months one of the scientists managed to fashion a makeshift key out of some odds and ends. Excitement gripped the entire planet. The scientists set up a press conference where they announced that they were on the threshold of removing this mystery for once and for all.  Everyone would finally know what exactly is causing these noises.
They then proceeded to open the lock and slowly enter. They were completely taken aback by what they saw but at least they knew. They came back out and announced their findings to the waiting masses. The chief scientist approached the microphone and said "today is a great day for Jupiter, we are pulling away the veil of superstition and replacing it with knowledge. We have discovered that the noises  coming from this house are being made by Abraham Lincoln who is sitting in a rocking chair in the living room banging a light saber into the wall. You can all go home now empowered by this newfound knowledge."
And with that the residents of Jupiter returned to their space homes more confused than ever.
.