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Uncomfortable Facts

I wrote this poem as a response to something I discovered in 2003. It had to be pried out - rather like creating something not of one’s own making - an uncomfortable feeling. Was it an act of creation or completion? It seems appropriate somehow, that this poem has an undecided “lineage.”

   ”Facts all come with points of view
    Facts don’t do what I want them to.”
    -David Byrne

    Uncomfortable Facts

    I have inconveniently
    been visited by
    some uncomfortable facts.

    They will not go away.
    Instead they poke me
    through the pockets
    I stuffed them into
    to keep them out of sight.

    Persistent little devils, aren’t they?

    Now I must take care
    that my pants aren’t too tight
    and I have to be really careful
    when I sit down!

    Maybe I can buy them off
    like corrupt legislators
    or absent parents
    bribing their children.

    Inconvenient facts are most uncomfortable
    in the present tense
    which confers the undeniability
    of a mess still to be cleaned up.
    And hence less susceptible
    to the spin of revisionism
    or the myriad murky layers of deceit
    that we deposit on the corpse of truth
    as an act of misdirection or slight-of-hand
    to cover up the many unseemly things
    better handled by politicians.

    But isn’t it paradoxical
    for me to react this way?
    How can I feel like a hostage to facts
    when the truth will make you free?


Remembering Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt Memorial from joely on Vimeo.

This is a memorial for Frank McCourt with his younger brother, Malachy McCourt.

Frank McCourt didn’t start writing until he was 68, and then as he says: “He wrote it all down.” If you’ve been touched by Angela’s Ashes, this is for you. If you haven’t, it’s also for you – an introduction to a body of work you don’t want to miss, one that has heart.

Namaste, Amy.

Buster in a Bag :-)

Buster in a bag.jpg

I left the classic Whole Foods plastic bag out after using it for the COJ picnic Sunday, and Buster saw its greater potential.

"Look Daddy, this is my clubhouse.
You have to know the password to get in!”


The Duchess

The Duchess.jpg

I bought a car Wednesday, and will be saying goodbye to the Porsche after 26 years. I’m really glad to have the newer vehicle; it solves a lot of problems for me!

It’s an ‘87 BMW with many miles, but it’s been very well maintained, and I won’t have to deal with Porsche mechanics anymore. They made my life way too “interesting” at times.

The BMW has one feature which the Porsche didn’t have that I can’t live without: The ability to block all outside air. So, now, I won’t get a headache if I’m stuck behind a diesel. Also the anti-lock brakes seem like a “must have.” I didn’t know it had them when I bought it - neither did the former owner. So that was a nice surprise. Plus it drives well; the Porsche has problems and I’m glad not to have to deal with them this time.

The BMW’s differential makes a bit of noise when going over 45, but I just turn up the stereo. The former owner is an amateur musician. It has a very nice stereo and speakers.


PDQForms: Like adding Spreadsheets to Acrobat

My software obsession.

Free tax software for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard


Welcome back Daddy!

Welcome back Daddy zzz.jpg

Buster snoozed through my return from COJ today. I guess he finally feels “at home” here :-)


I loved Paul. I was thinking about him, just a bit ago, as I heated up some Sockarooni, looking at his splendid countenance on the label. I had a thought that my favorite Paul Newman movie was the “movie” of Paul, in real life, his beauty tempered by humility and a steadfast determination to do the right thing, like in 1969, when he supported the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. Namaste Paul.


Head of Skate – don’t blink!


A Candle for Mookie

candle & rose.jpg

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

-Little Gidding


A Late Dessert

I attended a talk describing the recent discovery, reconstruction and translation of the Gandhara Scrolls, the oldest surviving Buddhist texts. While ruminating on their temporal scope and import, this began to form in my mind. I waited to harvest it, hoping that it would ripen, but finally picked it anyway, knowing that further verse wouldn’t grow until I did. When a friend stipulated that a fragment can be seen as finished, I had a strong sense of what she meant. Perhaps it is an appropriate parallel that this verse is fragmentary, as are the texts themselves.

Invisible Tear.jpg

A Late Dessert

like a poem sitting
in someone’s heart
for ten thousand years

an ancient gift
always there but
previously unnoticed

coming from a precursor
into consciousness
like a sacrament
to be decoded
by anxious lips
after untold millennia

an almost invisible tear
frozen timelessly
in the corner of the Buddha’s eye.