1. The Eyes of Jon Kabat-Zinn
(Inspired by a moment at the end of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s MasterClass).
With their saturation of deep brown
and a laser of a thing they call
loving-kindness, a thing that sounds
too soft and yet when it looks right at you…
this is no soft thing,
this is a thing that robs the meaning
out of the word
he gives loving-kindness to the
as it glides before him,
gizmo hunting down the modern world
like a polished, black bobcat.
He touches it and it purrs.
He looks right into its big squinting eye
and we find ourselves looking back from inside.
We are standing in and not walking
he is saying with those eyes
in quiet moments between the telling
where you can learn something
pregnant with power and grace.
We are blocking the doorway
his eyes are saying.
The barriers are us.
2. RuPaul Is Holding Me to This Earth
(inspired by this comment in RuPaul's MasterClass)
When I’m feeling anxiety
in any particular social-situation
drawing room and I am wanting
to slowly float away stage-left
where nobody is looking,
like a translucently pink balloon
that drifts randomly through
the corner of every scene
in an avantgarde movie,
I imagine RuPaul is in the drawing room
sitting on the couch maybe holding court
or reading a book
or talking on the telephone,
(one of those old Ma Bells),
or he is staring off into space
while eating crackers
and he is in drag or he is not in drag,
dusting off the cracker dust from
designer slacks or a miniskirt
and with his left hand he is holding
the string of my balloon
like it’s what he does every day,
a routine thing like talking on the telephone
and eating crackers, holding my anxious string
in-between his fingers while I sway
slowly back and forth.
3. To My Muse
To the one who suggests a word
in a poem
or answers a question about an ending
or hands me a miraculous rhetorical mistake,
a proverbial nudge of the shoulder,
until one day you came as a young lady
with long, curly hair standing
for ten seconds beyond the edge of my bed.
(The shock of it seemed to surprise you too.)
And it seems we are related,
as if you are from me, of me,
and no matter how old I get
you will always be younger and wiser
and from somewhere before I am now.
And you have a vested interest
in us, like we were and are a family.
I don’t know this for a fact.
I know this for a non-fact.
And feel some grief you are tied
and have not been able to move on to other things;
but then I imagine some people are just that way,
homing birds from life to life.
And when I think of my own mother
and the feeling between us,
the chord between women
related, I understand what you feel.
And I want you to know I hear you
and I’m sorry I said I was unlucky
and full of wasted time.
You have been doing amazing things
with me, for me, because of me.
Come tell me about your days
there in the quintessence.
Tell me how you are.
And I will tell you how very proud I am