Hold It All

Month: December, 2012

On Ferlinghetti’s Americus, I

For Dianne Lee and Lynette D’Amico

When I first read Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Americus,I just before The Book of Mev was published, I was energized by discovering how much it is a mish mash, full of allusions, weaving together autobiography, politics, cultural history, headlines, lit crit, a whole shmear of America! It really is Joycean: Here comes everybody!

Ferlinghetti’s the John Sayles of poetry: Americus is a down-to-earth, populist poesy and retrospective on what and who we’ve been. Obscure, pedantic, unreadable poets, sharpen your knives! Read the rest of this entry »

Writing Aspirations for the Next Few (Many?) Months (Years?)

To encourage Ann in her possibly imminent publishing pursuits

To begin in earnest sequel to Dear Layla—I just bought three black Moleskines, first objective, fill them with daydreams of what’s going on with Carla Nguyen

To show up wherever Fatima’s going to be

To send Brittany postcards when she’s at the beach

To begin a serene decade-length project called, The Teachings Are Infinite Read the rest of this entry »


“Listen, listen
This wonderful sound
Brings me back to my true self.”


You say you wish you could hear my bell
You are 5633 miles away from me

I am 5633 miles away from you
I hear the bell in the emails you send me


Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Tonight I’m taking refuge
In this translated sentence
From the Moore language:
“Nostalgia of you has got me.”

For U.S. Agent Orange Birth Defect Children

I ask that you urge VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to obey Public Law 110-387 and provide “comprehensive health care” to the several hundred children of Vietnam vets having birth defects connected to their parents exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Petition Background

In 2008 Congress has passed legislation (PUBLIC LAW 110-387) to provide comprehensive health care for the birth defect A/O children of Vietnam combat vets exposed to Agent Orange. But, the VA uses endless foot dragging to keep from implementing that law. Tell VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to follow the law, and relieve the suffering of the A/O birth defect children of Vietnam vets.

The Miracle of a Sheet of Paper

This morning at our sangha gathering at Sophia House, we listened to part of a dharma talk that Thầy gave at Green Gulch Zen Center in spring 1987. The following is the gist of what we heard…

If you are a poet, you will see that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be. Read the rest of this entry »

Call Me by My True Names

A dear friend tells me
That the Raleigh, NC Jesuit Volunteer home
Has been named the Mev Puleo House

Mev Puleo, Tijuana, c. 1983

Mev Puleo, Tijuana, c. 1983

Gatha for Any Time of Day or Night

Gatha and calligraphy by Thích Nhất Hạnh

Gatha and calligraphy by Thích Nhất Hạnh

A Poem by Heinrich Heine

Du bist wie eine Blume,
so hold und schön und rein,
Ich schau dich an, und Wehmut
schleicht mir ins Herz hinein.

Mir ist, als ob ich die Hände
aufs Haupt dir legen sollt
Betend, dass Gott dich erhalte
so rein, und schön, und hold.


Sharing the Wealth with Jennifer Reyes Lay: Recovering our True Selves

As we prepare to bid farewell to another year, and welcome a new one, join Jennifer Reyes Lay in reflecting on the different communities of liberation which help her to live more mindfully, take control of her life, and develop a deeper connection to God and the world.

Jennifer will share some of her journey of discovering what’s important, what works for her, and joining or building communities of support. There is no single answer or path for each of us to live the deep, rich lives we desire.

Join in the discussion and share your own insights, the communities you participate in, and reflect on how you can focus on you this new year and come home to your true self and the life you want to live.

Sunday 30 December 2012
At the home of Laura and Josh Aranda & Tony Albrecht
6312 West Park Avenue in Dogtown
Potluck begins at 6 pm
Jennifer’s sharing begins at 6:45.

Plum Village, Francephoto by Jennifer Reyes Lay

Plum Village, France
photo by Jennifer Reyes Lay