The Rip Post                                                                                              


Like Keaton and Lloyd
I sat up this night
drinking red wine
with Gary Snyder
as my companion.

All the words matched
from a half-century ago
years that I too lived,
which brings us to today.

No profound declamations
can alter the pre-existent
Buddha field in which our
lives are but a staggerstep
popping from womb
to shudder of last breath.

Yet it seems terribly
important to indulge
in ritual and rite lest
we dream away the night
and be left with no
time on the clock
as the dance steps ,
slow, slower, then faster.

Like Keaton and Lloyd
silent cliffhanging masters
we maneuver and manipulate
and strongarm and suffer
our way through this human
realm, at best a sage, at worst
a beggar, but most often
a soft-shoe shuffler grifting
and drifting from one miscue,
one misstep to another.

No glamour, no fame,
no pride and no shame
---Jack Oakes

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