Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dan Disney reviews the deciBels series, including _Memory Cards: Dogen Series_

See here for the omnibus review.


Unless you will it too, He will be no treasure to you. Pull H down the flag-pole and leave the cord to flap its rhythm without. Translate faith to doubt, if still in the guise of spirit. She who uses the words God, altar, and angel hates the word soul. If it's through the wound that light comes, we're blinded by it. The vet yelled at him that last morning. This is how we recognize limit, no matter the music. We see cat in the orange of beer bottle, baseball glove. Someone behind the screen weighs your words for their moral value. Somewhere a house is burning and then burning again. Say nothing, lest she attack. That's what she does. Click the link.

--23 March 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015


It can enjoy in another, as well as enjoy him. The pronoun is a robot; it gives us gender, as it offers us something to do. My student didn't know that “is” comes from the verb “to be.” Depends on how you define being. She makes an altar, prays away the voices in her head (except those she recites to us), gives herself away. Why teach a book that you hate?! Refrain requires disambiguation, unless repetition stops us. He made typos in his handwriting: “extemity” without the “r.” Another makes a litmus test for his friends. I remember that blue line, miscarriage. Her son wanders the house, turning off lights and television. We lock the doors against their wandering. Her Alzheimer's was better for me than for her. The switches kept getting flipped. Flip your lid, she'd say. Flip your lid.

--22 March 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015


Had we not wanted we could never have been obliged. A month of visitations: seated in my red chair, I felt a blur at the periphery of my left eye. A small gray rat sat in the living room, his fur sleek and clean. He vanished, like the others. We're obliged to those we want to see, even when they come in other bodies and leave again without them. The shells of their bodies litter our rooms, exposed to the air and us. Crawl inside: they are camouflage, armored personnel carrier, barrier against all the anger there is. We enter them like empire, beholden to what it inhabits. It takes courage to buy vegetables, to walk down a street, to stand inside a building. I'm glad you came, but please don't come again.

for Brian Turner
--20 March 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

50 (re-do)

To prize what we have is a deep and heavenly instruction. He refuses to listen to recorded music because it's not real. What he has is silence, an American kitchen without dishwasher. Asked to listen to what is farthest away, then to what is here, my student notes an ensemble of pens on paper. To pay attention is not to consume it. Not to pay ransom. To sit is not to be terrorized, but to witness being it. It means too much; I could be terrorized by it. He read the boy's autopsy in a fancy suit, standing beneath the boy's graduation photo. There's art in the coroner's attention, but not in being paid to read it out. When I got home, Bryant was in the kitchen, crying. He was watching the old Hawaii 5-0 when he saw his sister Susan, dead these 40 years. Sangha thought it odd to see Tortilla, dead three weeks ago, beside my chair. They're present, if not in fancy clothes. Radhika laughed when I told her what a birthday suit is. She thought it included shirt and tie.

--17 March 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015


Upon earth we learn nothing but vanity. A dapper haole man, white-haired, wearing socks and sandals, calls the VFW on his phone for a ride. His stuff's in Keaau. Spent the night at the Volcano Post Office. A local guy in floppy green hat schools him. Sleep and shower in Hilo; it's warmer there. Library's open 9-4; you can read all day, if you want. The white man's voice is fast, too fast, but the local guy calms him. The War Memorial page for Hilo has more yellow hotel stars than names. Liberty University “trains Champions for Christ.” There's a “Heroes Fund” scholarship for those wounded in one of our last three wars. When Ratta reads that Saijo was put in a concentration camp, then drafted, he laughs. “I wasn't going to go thousands of miles away to kill people I had nothing against,” he said. “In self-defense!” Jailed briefly in L.A. He wears a bright red Vulcans teeshirt, practices Zen. I used to see Germans on the Big Island; now I see Vietnam vets. You know them by their caps, their dogs, their quick good morningsas they walk past. Enduring freedom.

--15 March 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015


The one would be happy and cannot, the other may be happy and will not. A poem must express emotion, one writes, out of a different must from loam. To loathe subjectivity or to love objectivity is to pretzel the eye. Before the fern leaf unfolds, it resembles a sculptured human head. After I wore my Cards cap to zazen, he imagined a room full of monks in baseball caps. It was so cold I could see my breath. Buddha had a leaf of grass up his nose. He took too many cushions, they said; someone else slouched. Why pass judgment when so often we stay there, tires flat? Klesha has more kaona than obstacle, but obstacle's the word I know. There are 108 of them, Miho tells me. Pass the vehicle ahead of you. It's all traffic, and you're stuck, awaiting green.

--15 March 2015