First Half of May’s Haikus

A month’s worth is shorn
Cycle of four weeks again
Soon the need will end

Sleep used to elude
Now comes fast to carry me
You’re the antidote

Postponing the new
Keeps the future far away
Only for moments

When we were children
Our youthful exuberance
Invincible shield

As we grew older
Foolishness opens our eyes
A Buddha is lost

When late nights creep up
I welcome them with gusto
More time together

I’m often surprised
When you seem to read my mind
I’m a simple read

Together we move
Harmonies in the background

Is the new normal
Infernal headaches that sting?
Frustrated today

Wasting time with you
It’s an investment in life
Practice for heaven

Some powerful words
From a leader can mean much
Equality soon

Running with the wind
Towards a spot to meet you
Such great incentive

On this Mother’s day
I’m still baffled by anger
Where did that come from?

Their eyes full of fear
They know to be nice and smile
It is just business

Streams converge swiftly
A river grows towards the sea
Our canoe ready

Beastie Revolution

Nearly thirty years ago I was a teenage punk in New York City. On weekends, my sister, my friend Joshua and I would frequent the Village to hang out at what was the epicenter of US punk at the time. Most often we would go to Saturday and Sunday matinee concerts at CBGB’s, which was hollowed ground having been the place that launched the careers of the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Television, and others. It was also next door to the Chelsea hotel, where Sid Vicious was found next to a bloody Nancy Spungen.

We saw some of the best punk of the time including the Ramones, the Dead Kennedys, MDC, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, Murphy’s Law, Channel 3, GBH, the Exploited, Cause for Alarm, and Agnostic Front, to name a few. We also saw a slew of terrible bands that I have luckily erased from memory. One of those awful bands was a group of kids just a year older than me named The Beastie Boys. The Beasties consisted of three boys and a girl that even by punk standards of the time, couldn’t play a lick. Also, they stood out from the rest of the crowd dressing in the style of rappers of the time. The crowd hated them, not only were they downright terrible, but they also tried to do rap. Imagine, white kids rapping!

A few weeks after we saw them at CBGB’s, we saw them again at a free concert in Thompson Square Park. The park was a well known heroine addict hangout, but that day it had been transformed into a punk hangout with lots of leather, mohawks, piercings, tattoos, braces, and boots. The hosts of the concert, a local Hare Krishna group, passed vegetarian food mixed with their religious pitch, while local bands played. I remember when the Beastie Boys were announced, there was a lot of grumbling in the mosh pit (we called it something else then). They soon broke into a live rendition of Cooky Puss. There wasn’t much slam dancing happening, instead we just laughed.

Carvel Cookie Puss commercials were very familiar to all of us New Yorkers, and this “song” was a great NYC joke. We started thinking that maybe they were not as terrible as we thought. By the time the Beasties started their reggae anthem, of the time, “Beastie Revolution” many of us joined them in pogoing and asked “why not a Beastie revolution?”

Weeks later my sister and I shared a subway ride with the three remaining Beastie Boys, Kate their drummer had left the band by then. All that I truly remember from that ride was that they were pretty silly. They did talk to us, I’m not sure what we talked about. That was the last time I saw them in person. Both of my sisters ran into them a few years later. By that time they were a big deal, and my sisters were just giggling fans, or at least one of them was.

I’ve been reading a lot in the past few days about MCA aka Adam Yauch and people’s reaction to his passing on Friday. Most of my Facebook and Google+ stream on Friday were filled with Beastie Boy videos and remembrances from my family and friends.

Adam was only one year older than me, a New Yorker and a Buddhist. In many ways I see myself reflected in his experiences, but we are/were of totally different worlds. I will miss the positive force that he became.

Like everyone else of my age, I’ve followed the Beasties’ career, and bought all their music. I’d like to say I was an early fan and that I knew them when. The reality is that I thought they were pretty awful then, and I did have a small interaction with them, but I didn’t really know them. I still have my Cookie Puss 12″ record, and I will continue to ask “why not a Beastie revolution?”

Second Half of April Haikus

Tears ran down their cheeks
Feeling slighted, no reason
I’m a therapist?

During those late nights
When the travel interferes
Rescue me again

My head surrounded
By impenetrable fog
Will there be an end?

At the pool we stay
While my spirit does rebound
Your laughter cures it

In the sun we move
Towards a new adventure
Time to let it go

While eating dinner
The thought comes to me in waves
When will time be right?

Waves crash over us
Playing as if we’re children
The truth of our life

Warm hand caresses
When the cold descends on me
Green eyes shine like stars

The Strange Museum
Where my words sit bare, alone
May your eyes bless them

La vida normal
Encuentra una gran verdad
Todo es nuevo

To open my eyes
And see your beautiful face
A blessed man, I am

A simple comment
Knowledge deeper than mere rote
Your brain astounds me

Searching for meaning
In the sweet chaos of life
An eye for detail

Your knife deftly cuts
Heat transforms flavors quickly
Your skills sustains us

Duty comes calling
Lovingly, you support me
Your patience abounds