Category: 2 – Observations

Passing thoughts, poetry, and short slice-of-life videos I’ve shot – all with the idea of preserving a particular moment in time. Believing the journey is more important than the destination, these musings represent mile-markers for where I’ve been, both physically and philosophically.

Vexations (2017)

Eight minutes and 43 seconds of pianist Michael Kirkendoll’s 11-hour performance of Erik Satie’s “Vexations” inside of Rashid Johnson’s sculptural installation “Antoine’s Organ” at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Mo., observed on May 5, 2017. The infinite nature of a moment.

Four Months Later

Four months later,
they sit surrounded by
legalistic redundancies
that line the walls
and wear starched shirts
stained with dinginess.

Mirrors to the guilty,
hot mics amplify
“yes’s,” “no’s” and “that’s correct;”
Each one another
scoop of soil
tossed onto love long dead.

Like big-city coroners,
two women toil desensitized;
Typing and filing away past lives
organized by case numbers
while one wonders how they smile
after tasks of such undertaking.

Presiding on high,
the commissioner:
“Your Honor” reduced
to non-judgmental echo
of time-wasting
paperwork mazes.

With a final query
and consequential affirmation,
“I do” digresses to “I did”
as the stenographer
drops a rose
with one last keystroke.

And outside,
two balloons
catch diverging updrafts
and float freely
having been released
from a debilitating tangle.

February, 2004

From a Leafless Perch

From a leafless perch
set back
on the bank
of a concrete stream,

it watches
with a graceful gaze
as rainbow blurs of steel
swim past
at 80 miles a second.

Lifting one
and then the other,
its talons clasp tight
atop the birch
as a cold clip blows:
Nor’easter off the lake.

Generations long since past
spent their days
from tree to tree
in a gray sky
sprinkled with snowflakes.

But today, it waits
with a priest’s patience
and casts its graceful gaze
to the wrong side of the stream
where another victim of the sprawl
laps at the dust of the bone-dry bed, then

And as two worlds collide,
it tightens its grip
letting go and lifting off

from a leafless perch
set back
on the bank
of a concrete stream.

January, 2004

An Experiential Theory on the Meaning of Life


What are we really trying to find out when we ask, “what is the meaning of life?” Does the answer ultimately matter? Does the sense of purpose make a life better lived? Or does the question actually expose an unnecessary desire to apply purpose to everything as a prerequisite for fulfillment?

If one considers the “purpose” of this life is to simply experience it, the journey becomes much more important than any destination. This is hard for us to grasp, though, because it suggests the journey should have no end, which confuses us as a goal-oriented species.

Perhaps the answer to the ultimate question is staring us in the face, only we can’t see it because it’s not the answer we’ve trained ourselves to look for. In other words, if we think of “what” as everything in this existence within our ability to experience, then a simple punctuation change reveals the answer to the question: “What is the meaning of life.”

Daydream on a flight between Kansas City and Milwaukee, Dec. 26, 2014. I don’t think I broke any new philosophical ground here, but the exercise did help me better organize my thoughts on the matter. At any rate, it was a fun way to spend an hour-long flight.

Photo above is a shot I took at Halona Beach Cove, O’ahu, Hawaii on June 20, 2014.