Zen in the Art of Generalized Anxiety




My guru says it’s cheating

to meditate drunk.




I let my thoughts pass

like clouds in the breeze

and when I open my eyes,

I can’t remember any Spanish.




Sometimes toads explode.

Look it up.




All things are cyclical.

I will live to see the day

when socks and sandals

come into fashion.




I had planned to tattoo

a watch on my wrist,

but I couldn’t commit to a time.




I am workshopping my mantra.

Be honest – I can take it.




I would never kill a dragonfly,

but I guess I’d kill a horsefly.

I am still undecided

about all the types of flies

I’ve yet to meet in person.




I don’t believe in past lives,

but in a past life, perhaps I did.




Rock stars can’t be Buddhas.

Good lord – I’ll have to choose.




I would never have thought

twice about impermanence

if I hadn’t started losing my hair

from thinking about impermanence.




My least favorite sound

is everyone else sleeping.




One could spend a thousand lifetimes

meditating on the nature of the cigarette.

This is the central paradox of the sutras

as I understand them.




I am calibrating my karma

to be reborn a Labrador.




“I’m a realist,”

is just something

pessimists say.




Oh, fuck me –

I forgot the windchimes.




I am an amateur birdwatcher,

staring up with my mouth wide open

anytime the canopy shakes.

This poem was originally published in Issue 27 of Gulf Stream Magazine.