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Long Beach, CA

To Be Here Now, in the Great Belly of the Beast

To Be Here Now, in the Great Belly of the Beast

I am listening to a baseball game, one of the more refined pleasures of this lingering American century
And sure, the radio is also a handheld genie with more computing power than the ship that put men on the moon
Sitting in Central Park while spring tries to spring, before the sun soaks up the
wet grass and wears shades and smiles (like the suns of 1,001 children’s books),
it is warm enough to enjoy the smell of hot dogs and someone’s fine tobacco
(It may be cheap, but what do I know? And who cares?)

And I become aware of timelessness here
On these leaves upon which so many derrières have sat
The day that Armstrong waddled down the ladder, perhaps, 
Onto that great white orb, now circling with endless speed this green sphere, 
And perhaps ten thousand other days, where souls have sat enjoying the little grattitudes of life, 
Of eating, of smoking, of pushing pain away 

My dad taught me how to sit and do nothing, which is the greatest excellence of a man, and one at which I still struggle lop-sidedly, an artist still at crayons,
But after the final out, while my wife sleeps on a sprawling rock untouched by centuries of metal teeth or the sharp whirr of the bulldozer,
I practice the art of being here
And become aware of my breath
And let my mind wander down its spiral staircase for a waking nap
So that everything can become just sense, 
Of green and sun, of earthy smells
Which makes my soul shudder, at how large this park is, and how small, like squirrels, we are in this great belly of city
And how still, that seems good and right: a sensation of dangling
And how it’s better to have some sense of falling
Than a false sense of being held
Or worse, the addiction of avoidance that is our endless rushing around, 
Trying to be everywhere 


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