Thanks to my brother Milton, my drawing of my great grandfather Aliber, done around 1952, has been saved and retrieved. I was about 10 and he was about 105 (though the drawing makes him appear younger). You can see it in Drawings
Group show at Alley Cat Bookstore & Gallery
3036 24th St., San Francisco in the heart of the Mission District
Runs through Jan. 31, 2017
My first public exhibit since 1970
Scrawny stems, dark green narrow oval leaves about a finger's length,
little yellow flower cups on top.
Two hand length squiggly gray lizards, black stripes down their backs,
deep blue iridescent tails as long as half their bodies,
fucking in the stony dirt.
In the dome of my head bone is the sky, light blue, sun directly above.
Every few minutes a cloud assembles itself from nowhere, undulating,
then disappears back into the clear sky.
In the middle distance of my head bone, blue jays invent insults.
Hawks, black and tan, dove gray or dull gold sunlight through their wing tips.
Suddenly a hummingbird. Are my glittering eyeballs nectar? She flutters behind my eardrums.
Pines, redwoods, acacias, bays. A few burnt out trunks, reminders of a recent fire.
Some are so fragile they break in a strong wind;
the top half falls – one end on the ground, the other leaning on the standing trunk.
More of these frail trees keep growing.
In the far recesses, ocean or freeway? Too faint to tell for sure.
Amid all this, my attention is on you, Root Guru,
visualized suspended before me,
just one more head in your garland of skulls.
(Thanks Marc Olmsted)
Light of swaying flame softly seated there
evening light reflecting on your velvet starlight hair
Light of trembling flame your smooth blush moonlight skin
illuminated by the luminous heart within
Light of flickering flame nothing more than this
open inner space lights the way to bliss
Light of quivering flame emerald gaze you turn to me
all at once I find myself in eternity
I have heard that before the beginning is the presence. The presence is spacious, clear, and radiant of light and sound and touch and taste, pervading every possible dimension, thus has no dimension, neither time, nor space, nor place, nor thought. Fully aware. So why bother with words? Yet, I am told, the presence spoke and thus gave birth to manifest forms, to bodies, to concepts, to memory. To paradox.
So I invoke, generate, create the illusion of manifest yet complete awareness. And ask for the light to penetrate. It starts, then fades to a man in a dark suit hunched over like an old man in my grandmother's synagogue, his back to my gaze. I implore. Slowly, the black suit dissolves to reveal the image I've learned to conjure. The light softly penetrates in hazy colors. For the time being, I am content.
I make everything die. Each time I click, or make a mark, or drop a blob of plastic color, I murder the purity of the unarticulated mess. I turn timeless wisdom into cliche. Every word affirms our separation. I push you closer to your death. But if I don't keep trying, then what? We have to keep trying to reunite.
You can't plagiarize Buddha. All you can do is rearrange words. Put old words into new contexts. Make up new words to approach nonwords.