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Object Permanence

There is a story you’d tell
every winter evening,
of parents with linked hands,
a chain down the steep hill,
a wall held on to
by the children going to school.
One by one, each making
his or her way, over the ice,
parent to parent, top to bottom,
slippery to safe, home to school.
And when the day was done,
back again, hand over hand,
climbing the hill,
school to home again,
in the safety of
parent to parent to parent.

And when school was out, morning,
sledding from the top of the
snowy street to the bottom
where the traffic sped passed
with no idea to stop
and you’d say
how did we survive our childhood.

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Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Poetry

 

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The Psychic Samurai

Today, I want to be a superhero. Truthfully, I want to be a superhero every day. I hold myself to superhero standards, changing whatever power I should have depending on the circumstances. I always fall short.

I hold myself to those standards anyway. Superhuman standards, a friend called them. Standards I’d never old anyone else to. That would be unreasonable. Standards I’d tell anyone else they’d need to relax. Cut themselves some slack. Give themselves a break. But not me. And if anyone tells me that, they just don’t understand – I have standards.

My friend Hayda once told me this:

Adam’s superpower is to eloquently, precisely and ruthlessly dissect his
adversaries’ logical fallacies and intellectual shortcomings in such a manner
that not only does he annihilate his opponent’s arguments, he leaves his enemy
in such a state that he is utterly unaware he has been defeated. He is a
Psychic Samurai.

I have held on to that. Isn’t it funny what affects us?

My wife once told me I was like a pit bull when I had a problem to solve and, in all things, “No one tries harder.”  How long ago was that? Was that nearly four decades ago now? No one tries harder. That somehow became my goal. To try the hardest. To never try less hard than I could. To never give less effort than I could. To be that superhero.

Just try your best. That’s all anyone can ask. I have been told this. But I know people don’t mean it. They wouldn’t want their surgeon to feel that way. Or a fireman. If the house burns down, if someone dies, standing among the ruins, the newly homeless don’t pat the fireman on the back and say, “You tied your best.”   Sometimes one’s best isn’t good enough. There has to be more.

Taoists tell us to never use more than 70% of our resources. There must be at least 30% left to attract and build new energy, so you can do ti again. So you can continue getting the job done, fighting that good fight, helping those in need, walking the walk. But why give 70% to just fail? Why just throw 70% out the window?

I know 110%, “I’ll give it 110%.” is a stupid thing to say. It isn’t possible.  But I know I can dig deep and find more.

But how long can one mine that energy? Without anything else present, if it is all spent, what is there around which new energy can accrete? But if one doesn’t, there is the higher possibility of failure. Better to burn out and get the job done, right?

Right?

Try the hardest. Even when a problem doesn’t have a solution. Even when the problem is a paradox. Even when there is no problem, but just life. Even when the solution is to stop trying and let go. Especially when it is to let go.

Thus, I am the world’s most unsuccessful superhero. The world’s largest superhero failure.   Even worse than The Blue Raja. A bigger flop than The Invisible Boy.

And the more I fail, the harder I try. How’s that working out for me? Not so well.

I’d better try harder.

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

I think I Am, Maybe

I think, maybe,
I’m made of fog,
settled overnight,
In the dark,
Seems solid
From afar, look,
Walk through it.
There is no substance.
It dissipates into
Air, the sun rises,
There is nothing there.

Do you remember fogs?

Or a ghost, maybe,
An accumulation.
An aggregate of
Used tos, weres
I remembers,
Definitions,
Suppositions,
And faint ideas.
Walk through it.
There is no substance.
It dissipates into
Nothing, the sun rises,
There is nothing there.

When no one is around,
Who notices a ghost?

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2018 in Poetry, psychology, Suicide

 

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I can Hear the Angles

I can hear the angels
Sing songs only the angels
Sing songs of being
Neither here nor there
Angels and those
Close to death
Sing songs often sweetly
Sing songs below hearing
For all those
Neither here nor there
Hearing the songs of
Angels and those
Near to being angels
Sing songs I hear
Everywhere.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in philosophy, Poetry, psychology, Religion

 

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James 2:14-26

 

Praying is what you do
When you pick up the shovel
and plant a tree,
Surrounding the roots with mulch,
Dirt under your fingers.

Prayer is what you have
When you cook a meal for someone
Who is ill. Give respite to a
Caretaker. Take on a task
Someone else would usually do.

Praying is visiting hospice
When you are tired of death.

Prayer is cleaning a toilet that isn’t yours,
Building a house you won’t ever live in.
Sow seeds for food you will never eat.
It is the knock on the door,
The letter in the mail,
The call on the phone.
Marching in the street.
Chaining to the door.

Praying is holding someone else’s hand,
Listening to someone else’s story,
Holding space after they have left.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2017 in philosophy, Poetry, Religion, Social

 

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Ode to the Philly Cheesesteak from Pat’s

Just because. Just because.

Just because I miss Philly. Just because someone close by got a local (Indian Harbour Beach, I think) cheesesteak  and said it was the best anywhere.

Just because I want a cheesesteak with everything, and that includes ambiance and attitude.

Just because. Just because.

Ode to the Philly Cheesesteak from Pat’s

Oh my Philly cheesesteak–
I buy you
From Pat’s King of Steaks.
Fuck Geno’s across the street.
I order fast before
Counterman screams at me,
“Whadja want?
Dare’s people waitin’
In line!”
I order your divine
Slices of cow,
Yelling over the counter
“One Cheesesteak wid
And yo, don’t spare da sauce!”
He throws it at me,
Friendly-like.
Yeah.
Fuck Geno’s.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2017 in Culture, Food, Poetry, Social, Travel

 

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Leaving

Adam Byrn Tritt

It is possible there is a perfect time to die. A time when the stories told of you would be of kind compassion and rambunctious joy. Those are the times. When you are filled with love.

Not when you are alone. Not when you are filled with despair. A time when people think of you and smile, not shake their heads and ask why. Not too late when you have been lingering. But when you are active and happy. Die dancing. Die walking the beach. Not in front of a TV.

But most people don’t get to pick their time, it seems to me. And those who do often pick the time of despair and loneliness, leaving more despair behind them.

The perfect time would not have been the time that I picked. And, realizing it in time, pulled back. No, that was two weeks too early. The prefect time…

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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 
 
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