Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Twenty Years Later:  Santa Fe and Karma

To digest past lives
you must chew them, then swallow.
Santa Fe was full
to the clouds with folks jumping
onto tables, shutting their

eyes and careening,
seemingly, like particles
in a centrifuge
through dozens of previous
lifetimes in an hour or two.

Waitresses, doubling
as rebirthers, picked up the
pieces of Caesars,
Napoleons and Joans of
Arc, delivering them new

as bouncing infants
and recommending a change
of name to one more
fitting a newborn being
ready to gambol under

the curious eyes
of coyotes out in the
chamisa bushes.
While the regressers hoped to
make the big time, waiting for

calls from the talk shows,
the poor rebirthers just hoped
they could pay the rent.
The truth is, sometimes a life
you didn't know you had lived

sneaks up from behind
and knocks you flat on your face--
and you have to start
from uneasy beginnings
reliving its errors and

frustrations, knowing
full well you won't get out of
it alive this time,
either.  But you bite your way
like a beaver pulping dead

wood, through the log jams
of fragmented memories,
becoming pregnant
with sawdust, hoping to give
birth to a sheet of paper

on which you can write
the story of a new life.
Until another
old life ambushes you, and
another, and another,

and soon you are full
of lives; like a fish filled with
eggs moves heavily
in the current, you are washed
clean in multiplicity.