The Layman’s Cloud of Unknowing

To “live in the now”
Is the biggest lie
Sold to us by materialists and hyper-capitalists
Hedonists as well as Buddhists

Shallow people
Eat this up
Like dogs
Devouring another dog’s shit

Day-to-day life
Is just maintenance and personal hygiene
Why waste time
Being present to the morning routine

There’s nothing significant
About taking a piss and eating breakfast
It’s pure utility and necessity
But it will become poetry once it’s in the past

You will cry over the tablecloth and salt & pepper shakers
That were wedding presents from your first marriage
The dining room cluttered with unpaid bills, handmade art, and broken toys
From your children in the magnet hall of fame on the kitchen fridge

Like listening to your favorite 90’s playlist
That conveniently serves as a time capsule
Recalling every forgotten moment
Last night’s sex, your first love, day drinking, and record deals

This is true love
The pure art
To keep a daily journal
And burn after writing

To “live in the now”
Is the biggest scam
Paid for by corporations as well as churches
As Seen On TV advertisements and travel agents

Camp grounds and theme parks
Are the front and back of the same postcard
One man’s roller coaster high
Is another man’s float trip getting drunk on Natty Light

There is no reason to be mindful
Of the dust you kick
And the leaves you crush
While hiking in the forest

This is the time to reflect
Upon your senior year of high school
When you lost your virginity
And won state, even with a sprained ankle

The band you formed
But never played a gig
All night rehearsals
In your stepmom’s basement

Never letting the truth
Get in the way of lying to yourself
Like how you were going to be the next Kurt Cobain
If not plagued by the false guilt that rock n roll is satanic

This is true love
The pure art
To write and play songs
That only you and a few friends will hear

To “live in the now”
Is to be a tourist of the world
Seeing the sights
But not participating in the culture

Jesus warned us of such men
Those who stand in the doorway
But never entering into the promise
All show and no essence

Distraction is a virtue
The art of ignoring
Trivialities as well as self-importance
To lose oneself in thought is the layman’s cloud of unknowing

Not thinking about what you’re doing
Contemplating what you’ve already done
We learn by re-reading the same books
Memory is the seat of wisdom

There’s nothing significant
About fingering a string of beads
Just a nervous and annoying habit
But you will attain salvation if it’s a rosary

Even less, should we ever think ahead
Only backwards, in retrospect
This is true prayer, the kind that reaches heaven
To clean up, but only after all the dust has settled

This is true love
The pure art
To be crucified with Christ
And refuse the martyr’s crown

17 May 2019
3:00 PM