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Jerry Katz
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#1964 - Friday, November 29, 2004 - Editor: Gloria    


The question is not
what you look at
but what you see.

     - Henry David Thoreau


“A sudden perception

that subject and object are one

will lead you to a deeply mysterious

wordless understanding.

You will awaken to the truth of Zen.”


- Huang-Po



“Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare,

life heightened and its deepest mystery probed?”


- Annie Dillard



“The wise man does not discriminate; he gathers together all shreds of light,

from wherever they may come.”

- (Aglič) Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum


  posted on AlphaWorld


         The problems in your life are in direct proportion
       to your unwillingness to swallow absolutely
       everything that's on your Path.

       The problem is not in what's showing up for you.

       The problem is in your resistance to what's
       showing up for you.

       It's in your shouting out to the Cosmos, "This
       should not be so!"
       When you swallow the entire "you-niverse,"
       then you're not resisting "what is."

       If you're patient, though, then everything that
       shows up for you will eventually become edible.

       However, don't expect it all to taste just like

                           - Chuck Hillig
  posted on Along the Way


The Fragile Vial




I need a mouth as wide as the sky

to say the nature of a True Person, language

as large as longing.


The fragile vial inside me often breaks.

No wonder I go mad and disappear for three days

every month with the moon.


For anyone in love with you,

it's always these invisible days.


I've lost the thread of the story I was telling.

My elephant roams his dream of Hindustan again.

Narrative, poetics, destroyed, my body,

a dissolving, a return.


Friend, I've shrunk to a hair trying to say your story.

Would you tell mine?

I've made up so many love stories.

Now I feel fictional.

Tell me!

The truth is, you are speaking, not me.

I am Sinai, and you are Moses walking there.
This poetry is an echo of what you say.

A piece of land can't speak, or know anything!

Or if it can, only within limits.


The body is a device to calculate

the astronomy of the spirit.

Look through that astrolabe

and become oceanic.


Why this distracted talk?

It's not my fault I rave.

You did this.

Do you approve of my love-madness?


Say yes.

What language will you say it in, Arabic or Persian,

or what? Once again, I must be tied up.

Bring the curly ropes of your hair.

Now I remember the


A True Man stares at his old shoes

and sheepskin jacket. Every day he goes up

to his attic to look at his work-shoes and worn-out coat.

This is his wisdom, to remember the original clay

and not get drunk with ego and arrogance.


To visit those shoes and jacket

is praise.


The Absolute works with nothing.

The workshop, the materials

are what does not exist.


Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.

Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,

where something might be planted,

a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.


Mathnawi V: 1884-1920, 1959-64

'The Essential Rumi' Coleman Barks/John Moyne


posted on AlphaWorld


across the lake
the tree a nest
the nest an egg
inside the blue
the heartbeat of the galaxies
a promise and a key  

each step observed.
each land and sea  

how nothing ever ever
did not come on through  

this narrow lane  

how nothing ever ever
 did not  pass  

this empty handed thief  
to imagine he's
been asking 'who am I?'  

makes me laugh,
makes me cry  

with a hammer hitting carefully,
on who can he
 rely to  be  

A fragile jar
so utterly
and plainly obsolete.  

this one and  only
thought of  it?    

- Alan Larus  



Rainer Maria Rilke    


Slowly the evening changes into the clothes  

held for it by a row of ancient trees;  

you look: and two worlds grow separate from you,  

one ascending to heaven, another, that falls;    


and leave you, belonging not wholly to either one,  

not quite as dark as the house that remains silent,  

not quite as certainly sworn to eternity  

as that which becomes star each night and rises-    


and leave you (unsayably to disentangle) your life  

with all its immensity and fear and great ripening,  

so that, all but bounded, all but understood,  

it is by turns stone in you and star.


Translated by Cliff Crego    

posted on AlphaWorld    

“Truth disappears with the telling of it.”  
Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990)
"Clea" [1960], Chapter 2  

posted on AlphaWorld

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