Jazzed (and listening to jazz) in the studio today, getting new work ready for upcoming shows, buoyed by early spring sun, fresh air and the words of Kerouac: "Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever..."
So it's the tail end of this action packed day, and I'm doing great, meeting all of my deadlines, and as I stroll out of the last meeting of the day, walking confidently away from the building and toward the parking garage, I take my eye off the sidewalk to look at a stray cat across the way and... miss the curb, falling in slow motion now and realizing I'm falling, let myself go, landing in a heap on the concrete, my bag next to me. Picking myself up, I chuckle at the slapstick absurdity, and glance around to see if anyone saw me fall.
Walking into the factory yard, I climb in through an open window, and stumble over a table filled with art. Dropping to the floor, I step onto a small painting, and look up to see Johnny Cash, busily working there among the many paintings laying on the work tables. Walking past him, I apologize, saying "I'm sorry Mr. Cash, I'll be out of your way shortly". He nods and continues, without looking up.
Better Block Performance (04.27.14) - photo by Steve Cruz
My sangha is the stars in the night sky, the trees and also the wind that blows through them, the apparent solidity of rocks and earth, the water, both flowing and still, the creature friends moving and breathing, and all the forms my awareness rests in.
Valentine's Day (2014)
My daughter on the phone, she said "JC liked my Valentine". I asked, "what'd he do?" "He thanked me, and I thanked him too." I told her I loved her, and hung up, and walking outside under a full moon, down brisk sidewalks covered in snow, as lovers sit inside at tables sampling bottles of wine, staring into each others eyes, and me, back out on the street, walking fast to stay warm, breathing in the seventeen degree air and digging every minute, just being alive.
Columbus Circle (2013)
Sunny, brutal cold winter afternoon, walking through the midst of a sprawling fight at Columbus Circle. young toughs tangle on the sidewalk, then up, strutting with theatrical gestures and threats in lieu of fisticuffs. "I'm coming back, alright, and when I do, I will light this place up."
Temple Offering (2014)
She is there, and I, on the long wooden boat poling through the canals of the ancient city. We drift up to a small mud enclosure, there in the dirty water, a temple with two thin Indian boys sitting on the walls. Pulling out two coins with a blue copper patina, I hand them to the boys in offering, then look back toward her laying there in the boat. I place my hands in prayer pose up to my third eye in blessing, as we slowly float away.
Blood Moon (2014)
So I've been laying there about forty-five minutes, staring up into the sky, and suddenly this truck pulls up, headlights aimed right at my head. Parking, a young guy hops out, trucker cap, unshaven, and reeking of alcohol. He staggers past me, pulls out a cigarette, lights it, looks up at the blood red moon, and says, "dude, that's bad-ass". We exchange small talk as he paces back and forth, and finishing his smoke, he says, "I'm gonna go inside and pass out now".
Lying back again, I look up into the blackness, and there she is, if I allow myself, to be mesmerized by her beauty, glowing like a sacred heart surrounded by diamonds, somewhere down among Virgo's dancing feet, the night still and bearing a silent witness, and Mars there too, hanging out to see what's next.
Dr. J. (2014)
Home boys blowin' smoke in the crisp night air of a pickup basketball game, as high above the stars twinkle, same as they have on a few hundred billion other nights, and I notice for the first time that Betelgeuse pulses red every few seconds, and that the dimmer stars come into focus when you're not really looking at them, and how I used to practice really hard, thinking I was gonna be able to slam dunk some day. I could touch the rim, at least. (01.21.14)
I remember that night, and you back in the room crying,
Our first big fight, and me walking alone on the beach,
Drunk and so in love with it all, a million stars spinning in the sky
Above me, losing myself and falling back on the sand,
Staring up now into infinity, some kind of revery, this.
Disco Ball (2014)
Tonight, dancing under the stars, I visualized myself as a deity, or rather a disco ball spinning slowly on the dance floor. It feels great to be high above, reflecting light through the darkness, in a thousand broken shimmering facets, a stillness and majesty, like that of a star or planet moving through endless space.
Just home from a hard days work, I walk outside to my apartment courtyard, sit down and begin to peel the skin from a ripe banana. Enjoying my snack, I feel the cool breeze as it mixes with the bright sunlight of an early spring evening. The sounds of an NBA playoff game float across from a neighboring apartment and then, at first imperceptibly, but growing distinctly louder, a woman moaning loudly from inside one of the apartments. ah, ahh, ahhh… Noticing the heavy, rhythmic breathing, and ebb and flow of her moans I realize, "those are the sounds of pleasure". ahhh, ahhh, ahhh… A few minutes later, my banana is eaten, and as I walk inside, she is still going at it, albeit at a lower, more steady rhythm. ah, ahh, ahhh… That must be a really good game she's watching.
Day Efe (2014)
Alguna parte tengo tres cientos y cincuenta pesos sobre de mi ultimo viaje ala D.F. Pero todo que puedo encontrar es seis monedas de peso. Mañana tengo que llegar desde el aeropuerto hasta el Zocalo vía del Metro. Tengo seis pesos. Ella. Justo. Posible. Hacer.
Flying in, volcanic ash fills the sky for miles around. Descending now, the sky clears and there she lies: endless structures surrounded by mountains, in a bowl of green foliage. And we touch down in clear light of morning.
What do mariachis do when they're not playing? They stand around looking cool, that's what they do.
All along the dirty streets and endless corridors of Mercado Lagunilla, blown by the cool breeze, on into Plaza Garibaldi, stray dogs and mariachis wander aimlessly in search of a song, or someone to listen.