Monthly Archives: May 2014

#133: Stupid Desire

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It makes me angry:
I can’t stop thinking
about things I want.
I want a new roof, new gutters,
and the house painted.
I want to remodel the basement.
I want to refurbish the garage
and replace the kitchen cabinetry.
I want outdoor furniture for the back yard.
I want an Airstream, again.
And because I’ll need something to pull it,
I want a truck. I want a tiny house.
I want a 20 inch bass drum.
I want a stand-up desk.
I want a new turntable.
I even want things for other people.
I want René to have a new keyboard.
Hers is stupid, heavy, and old.
I want to be a better father.
I want to achieve enlightenment.
I want to read every book in the house
and I want to finish a draft
of the new novel.
There are things I want that I can’t mention.
I won’t mention those.
I want at once everything I desire
and nothing I desire. I want very much
to desire nothing, to have no desire
except for those desires that
are noble and good.
Very few of my desires
are either noble or good
except the ones that are most
difficult or next to impossible–
like achieving Buddha-hood
or reading everything in sight;
those desires that cost nothing
save commitment–those are the
real fuckers, and the ones I really need, and
therefore, for the time being, unattainable .

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Filed under Poetry, Self Reflection

#132: Someone’s Looking At You

big-brother-is-watching-you

You know this now, don’t you?
That nothing is private.
That everything you say can
be seen and everything you’re
interested in is now somebody
else’s business and part of the
permanent and public record
of your life and can and likely
will be used against you.

A whole industry depends on the fact
that you have willingly given up
your right to privacy. At any time
of your day you may be photographed
or recorded in your absolute worst moment.
Even if it begins innocently, things could
go south.  You can be shared.  You might
even go viral.  You might become a virus.
And you must be careful now about
connecting things you like with your
choice of social media.

Everyone now knows what you’re watching
or reading. This may or may not be okay with you.
Everyone knows now what music you’re listening to,
the very moment of or moments after your listening.
This could be embarrassing.
Your desires have become public.
Your friends, who are not all really your friends,
know more about you than your mother.

 

Note:  and there’s this.  As much as we despise this Donald Sterling guy and believe he deserves everything that’s coming to him, Bill Maher in this segment is absolutely right.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/10/bill-maher-donald-sterling_n_5301576.html

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Filed under Culture, Poetry

#131: My Most Popular Post

cropped-mjarmer2.jpg

I posted on my blog a speech I gave at my 30th
high school reunion, and I wonder
why so many people are reading
this thing–way more
than the number who would have
attended this event and even way
more than the number of people
in my graduating class. I’m at a loss.
Maybe it’s just a decent speech that
people actually enjoy reading, but I like
to imagine now that my speech is
being reproduced around the country
and the speakers completely
cribbing my words are simply
replacing all the proper nouns
with appropriately specific ones
from their own community.
Or, perhaps, they’ve left the speech
completely intact, including
a claim that they now teach at
their alma mater, and,
bizarrely, a list of all the teachers
that have since shuffled
off this mortal coil, theirs
the same as ours.  And maybe
no one notices.  If I’m correct,
and not just full of myself,
I’m glad I could be of some help
to people trying to think of
things to say to their classmates,
people they haven’t seen for
30 years, sometimes for
good reason.  Sure, go ahead,
speak my speech, create some blank
spaces and fill them in.  All
the thanks I need is the spike
that occurs every once in
a while with my stats.
But if you’re feeling
especially generous,
maybe you could send a
photo from your reunion
of your long lost high school
buddies complimenting you
on your speech, my words
on your lips.

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Filed under Poetry