Poem “Philosophical Attitude” by Theresa Haffner

philosophical attitude

In your eyes
you are yet
forgetful of
your true estate.

Have you forgotten your
heart is not quiet?

the purpose of philosophy is
to quiet the emotions
but how can you be happy
when you know you are alone?
that your plate is not full?

My heart is tied up
up in my many knots.
They keep my strings taut
and ungiving...

yes. so there is the
zen of nothing
the algebra of need
one to me is
fame and shame
etc.

study kabala.
the ancient hebrew texts.

they get you close.

they say
the universe
was created
from pure thought
by means of
letters and numbers

only the devil could do that.

the sages say it's as easy
as one...two...three...
and A...B...C...

numbers and letters.

but which ones?
they never reveal
them along the way.

kabala gives number one
through number nine

and twenty two letters
in the hebrew alphabet

you could make anything
in the world
if you could
spell it right

i was a student of
kabala and it was
hard

you must first acquire
the knowledge

kabala is so abstract.

you cannot deny the truth...

because you can make
the universe

it's so subtle

it could make you laugh
and at the same time
feel guilty

but even god had to
start somewhere

if it wasn't A-B-C
it was Aleph-Beth-Gimel

and this calls for
a lot of knowledge

a lot of facts

the zen of numerology
is the belief that

only by living
without desire
can you
avoid suffering.

that you are nothing
That you don't exist

how can your
heart be empty?

become
a root of

knowledge

and the word
a thought
atropos

your heart is empty
you become a zealot

a scholar

a man who takes his
knowledge seriously

because you have
experienced
suffering

you could not feel nothing
kick something
be anything

these things i have given you

these things i love

to prove that one does not equal
zero

study astrology
surround yourself with

signs and symbols
of
the stars and planets

a weather report of the
known universe

a deck of cards
with an ace for a face

and a deuce for the other end

tarot

later on astronomy

a cast of elephants
and tortoises
of what ever hindu world
is appropriate

the theory of cosmic reality

(that we cite as the only
true religion)
states clearly that
in existence all t’s must be crossed
and all i’s dotted

that in the cosmic all-there-is

the at-one-ment we think of as
godhead

all details must be taken into consideration
no matter how insignificant
or beside the point they may seem

that this moment can not be real
unless everything is just the way it is.

and that this ultimate reality
can be changed by changing a single detail.

because everything is just as important
as every other thing

and in this way you maintain
an edge on
ultimate reality

i ching is an ancient chinese system
of divination using yin and yang
to study the rise and fall
of light and dark forces
in the universe

in the coin oracle this is
determined by tossing three coins
and recording the pattern of heads and tails

how important is reality if it can
be determined by something
as insignificant as the toss of a coin?

at first I couldn’t consult
the oracle because i had
no coins and they don’t
accept master charge

then later i got some money

when you are experienced with
i ching you know that it is a book
and it has spirits which can talk
to you as if they were human beings

imagine my astonishment
when the coins revealed this hexagram:

No 1 The Creaive
- - -
- - -
- - -
- - -
- - -
- - -
the first hexagram in the series of
64 hexagrams that comprises the
book of changes

i interpreted this as the spirits
telling me i needed to start at
the beginning

i am alone
but my heart is empty

so that i will not suffer
i conceive of myself
as nothing

because zero does not equal one

at a later time someone will come

my heart will not be empty
and philosophy will rise

i realize
if nothing is real
at least i can become
no thing

after i have obliterated suffering
my senses become not
i can assuage this by drinking
wine

a philosophical attitude is cultivated
when one takes a stance against the
merely ordinary

he seeks to understand reality
in terms of its underlying principles

he does not battle with reality
but accepts it with serene resignation

he is not like a leaf to be blown aside
by any breeze or like a tree to be
uprooted by a storm

he knows that time is absolute
and nothing can stand against it
forever

before a person can interpret the
signs and symbols of existence
to predict the future

he must spend many years in devotion
to the me and the not me of
cosmic wisdom

before he can snap his fingers
and change future events
he must have attained the very
exalted philosophical state

otherwise known as
peace of mind


Bio: 
Theresa Haffner:
Now in her seventh decade, Theresa Haffner was raised in Michigan but moved to California at age twenty one, first to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles to pursue a career in professional music. She is transgender, male to female, having made the transition in 1972. She began writing while still a teenager. She has been a force in L.A. poetry since the early 1980's when she gave a reading of her concrete poetry at the Water Gallery in Hollywood. Also known as an editor/publisher, she edited THREADBARE LITERARY JOURNAL, In collaboration with Albert Crane. AFTERSHOCK MAGAZINE with David Behrens (Bill Bored), and was regional editor for THE NEW PRESS,  a literary journal published in Flushing, New York and distributed nationally. 

To her credit, she has one novel, MACARTHUR PARK CHRONICLES*, (denotes available through Literary Download Center) several books of poetry including ACHERON AND OTHER POEMS*, DIFFERENT DRUM*, THE LAST POETRY BOOK*, THE CASE FOR WISDOM AT 5:00 A.M.*, SURFACE OF THE LAND,  a novella BLACK STAR* a coffee table book, ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (THE NEW YORK SCHOOL) (In preparation), and various other paper booklets and pamphlets.

As part of her effort to stimulate interest in original literature at the community level, she periodically makes available POETRY SAMPLERS selected from her copious archives of unpublished poetry. Several are available.

Her poetry is archived at www.poemhunter.com

For many years she worked as a professional musician, playing with an impressive array of famous and infamous people. Her music can be heard on Youtube at the Theresa Haffner Channel.

(*Literary Download Center c/o theresahaffner05@gmail.com)

Poem by Theresa Haffner : Hollywood, 3 a.m.

city with high-rise buildings during night time

Hollywood, 3 a.m.

1.

Bits of newspaper and the tattered remains of porno pictures blow across the pavement flutter in the 3 a.m. wind a lonely taxi cruises empty streets discarded flyers of forgotten rock and roll bands fall to the ground and cover the sidewalk like autumn leaves

2.

Hollywood,3 AM. all night diner a Styrofoam coffee cup sits on a folded napkin circular stains round its bottom a jelly donut in the display case the door is open and everybody here the cripple, the beggar, the homeless, the thief and even though they have never met they still know one another with the unerring knowledge of all late night diners and people who were ever too poor to buy a meal unread newspapers open to the want ads wait the dawn

3.

Hollywood,3 AM walk of fame stars line the sidewalks with the names of celebrities from a bygone era and those who walk these streets with worn out shoes who do not even recognize many of the names immortalized beneath their feet sleep in doorways or on the sidewalk covered up with cardboard or wrapped in blankets like shrouds haunt the dark recesses of alleyways and deserted buildings they say, “do you have any spare change, mister? ” “brother, can you spare a dime? ”

4.

Hollywood 3 AM between buildings along driveways and across parking lots floodlights direct their beams along light corridors carefully monitoring all activity within their radius and transmit their information to other vigilantes, agents, operatives and police organizations by means of high pitched variations of the light frequency phenomena that should be happening all the time becomes most pronounced between between the hours of 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

observing them in a red tinted mirror discovers further activity otherwise undetectable when the surveillance helicopter flies overhead everything gets crazy on the roof an unrecognizedfigure is seen climbing up wearing infrared goggles and carrying a two way radio he won’t be there when morning comes

5.

Hollywood 3 AM nobody on the street just an old alley cat arching his back he says “me-ow” go home you old alley cat! and two or three guys on the corner selling cocaine as we approach, they say “what do you want? ”

“what do you need? ”

Poem by Theresa Haffner: Reality Doctor

3 poems by Theresa Haffner : word decyclotron, word underworld, Dwarka

2 poems by Theresa Haffner ‘Room 203’ & ‘The Black Stars’

Poem by Theresa Haffner: Reality Doctor

multicolored abstract painting
(c) Pawel Czerwinski (unsplash)
Reality Doctor

Sometimes the truth is hard to find.   It can be
like a continent that you are already standing
on so it is everywhere.

Or conversely, it can  be like Antarctica. A place
you can point to on  a map but  have no personal
experience of to either prove or disprove its existence.

For many people the truth must remain forever 
hidden, and unknown,  so suppressed and repressed 
they don’t even know that it is missing.

Fortunately there are clues, hints, traces.  
Vestiges, methods, processes,.
some suggested by Allen Ginsberg, William
Burroughs, and others, brave pioneers in the
exploration of human consciousness, for whom
the pursuit of truth became a lifelong 
obsession.

Free association. stream of consciousness,
random interaction,  chance and probability,
double entendre, meaningful coincidence
(synchronicity), ambiguity, mistaken identity

Reverie, certain  types of meditation,
sense deprivation, dream interpretation
Letters to yourself..

Burroughs and Ginsberg also used drugs.
Let me stress this is absolutely not necessary.
The dangers of shooting heroin would
probably far  outweigh any benefits to be
gained from it.  However, where it is legal,
modest use of cannabis may be permissible.

Some things are psychic energizers.  Certain
geometric diagrams, names of ancient gods
and goddesses.  Astrological and alchemical symbolism

Automatic writing
Tarot cards.
Abstract painting.
Modern jazz music.
Threads of meaning.
Twist them into a filament.
Braid them into a cord,
A rope, a lifeline,
A means of inquiry
Into the unknown truth.

Allen Ginsberg, in an article for Writers Digest,
‘what way i write’, says he never thinks about
what he is going to write beforehand.   Instead
he lets his mind go blank, then picks up a pencil
and lets his hand scrawl a couple words on its own.
Then before he realizes it he is writing about what
he was supposed to be writing about all along.
He also says, having written a page, he tears it into
four parts, rearranges them, tapes them back together,
Then reads the ‘new’ document to see what he was
really writing about.

look into a glass of water
An empty mirror
Listen to the silence of an empty room.
Look into the shadows
Interpret the meaning
of  the whisper of the wind.
The water pipes
The furnace vents,
Electric motors,
The washer, the dryer.
The oscillating of
A circulation fan.

Only when you defeat
The phenomenal
Can you engage
The subconscious.

Enjoy the moment.
It can be your first
Intimation of the truth
You have been looking for.
A realization of the
Continent you are standing on.

It will not be perfect
	but it’s a start.
If repeated it can become
	the keys and pathways
of the soul.
A means to climb out of the box
	that has imprisoned you
That has been suffocating you

When you take a breath you will
Become like a fish in water
And breathing will be like
	an intoxication.
For instead of nothingness
	there  will be the
meaning of life in the universe.

Never again will you be forced
to look at an ink blot
and see only spilled ink

Therefore take a prescription
	from this Reality Doctor
To engage the subconscious.

Two hours a day appreciation of
	Abstract Expressionist painting
	Particularly Jackson Pollock,
	Willem De Kooning, Clyfford Still.
Two hours a day
	Modern jazz music, particularly
	Miles Davis, John Coltrane,
	Thelonious Monk.
One hour a day
	Dream interpretation.

In two weeks double the dose
	and thereafter readminister as needed
	to make sure the subconscious
	is functioning normally.

You may want to supplement with Aleister Crowley,
Arthur Rimbaud, the cut-up trilogy of William Burroughs
 (The Soft Machine, Nova Express, TheTicket That Exploded)
I Ching, Kabbalah, Lao Tze, mandala, mantra, tantra, yantra
All of these things should be practiced periodically
 as an antidote for whatever fears and insecurities caused you to
devalue and repress the subconscious in the first place.
The subconscious is a naturally occurring part of the human consciousness.  In  this highly mechanized, digital environment,
without the irrational, the merely rational can be a very lonely 
place to exist.


BIO:
Theresa Haffner:
Now in her seventh decade, Theresa Haffner was raised in Michigan but moved to California at age twenty one, first to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles to pursue a career in professional music. She is transgender, male to female, having made the transition in 1972. She began writing while still a teenager. She has been a force in L.A. poetry since the early 1980's when she gave a reading of her concrete poetry at the Water Gallery in Hollywood. Also known as an editor/publisher, she edited THREADBARE LITERARY JOURNAL, In collaboration with Albert Crane. AFTERSHOCK MAGAZINE with David Behrens (Bill Bored), and was regional editor for THE NEW PRESS, a literary journal published in Flushing, New York and distributed nationally.

To her credit, she has one novel, MACARTHUR PARK CHRONICLES, (denotes available through Literary Download Center) several books of poetry including ACHERON AND OTHER POEMS, DIFFERENT DRUM, THE LAST POETRY BOOK, THE CASE FOR WISDOM AT 5:00 A.M., SURFACE OF THE LAND, a novella BLACK STAR a coffee table book, ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (THE NEW YORK SCHOOL) (In preparation), and various other paper booklets and pamphlets.

As part of her effort to stimulate interest in original literature at the community level, she periodically makes available POETRY SAMPLERS selected from her copious archives of unpublished poetry. Several are available.

Her poetry is archived at www.poemhunter.com

For many years she worked as a professional musician, playing with an impressive array of famous and infamous people. Her music can be heard on Youtube at the Theresa Haffner Channel.

(*Literary Download Center c/o theresahaffner05@gmail.com)

3 poems by Theresa Haffner : word decyclotron, word underworld, Dwarka

Key, Old, Flower, Nostalgic, Vintage

word decyclotron

word stream channel B
word pile syllable dust
broken words here
words without meanings
meanings without words
disconnected definitions
prefixes here suffixes there

this pile reserved for
word fragment
word decyclotron word smasher
wrecking ball word smithereen
splinters shatters plasters
crasher
thrasher word basher
decimater word grinder
syllables here

mix blender new words
from old mix
noun verb adjective subject
matter

predictive predicament
roastwood kiln phraseology
first sentences broken down to
phrases, phrases to single words
words ground into letters
letters disposed of
leaving only punctuation marks

and burroughs said so this is
what
becomes of old words after
we’ve
used and abused them and
bent
them and bruised them

and misused them and confused
them

yes, mr boroughs, they come
here
the ones that can be salvaged
are saved
cleaned up returned to
circulation

some can be rehabilitated some
can be
repaired some taken out of
circulation
and saved some to word
museum

some cannot be saved or
reused
and must be
mercifully
destroyed

yes, mr. burroughs, there are
those who say you made
language
an endangered species

you must be very proud

thank you i tried

but not to worry mr. burroughs
we can always replace
a steady stream of
new words never run out of
words
mr. burroughs

word underworld

tiresias what can we do with
with all these words

cast them into the styx

away with them. away.

just let them be
they may die down in a
few thousand years
people will stop listening
to them

they haven’t stopped
listening to you, tiresias

word underworld
word purgatory, sheol
in huge vaults shrouded
in shadows the words
are dormant now

waiting to be reused

Dwarka

lighthouse

dwarka harbor
dwarka, india

the tower rises
above sea level

the beam of light
cast above the waves
rotates above the sea
visible for miles

keeping ships safe from
shipwreck free from
crashing directing
trade and travel

below ground and
at the bottom of the sea
the words lie waiting
to be rediscovered
reawakened and reused

from the 4000 year old
temple complex the
archeological excavations
where krishna lived
with his wife the words
are waiting now to be
resurrected and reconstructed

in dwarka india the past
is being made ready
to live again

BIO:
Theresa Haffner:
Now in her seventh decade, Theresa Haffner was raised in Michigan but moved to California at age twenty one, first to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles to pursue a career in professional music. She is transgender, male to female, having made the transition in 1972. She began writing while still a teenager. She has been a force in L.A. poetry since the early 1980’s when she gave a reading of her concrete poetry at the Water Gallery in Hollywood. Also known as an editor/publisher, she edited THREADBARE LITERARY JOURNAL, In collaboration with Albert Crane. AFTERSHOCK MAGAZINE with David Behrens (Bill Bored), and was regional editor for THE NEW PRESS, a literary journal published in Flushing, New York and distributed nationally.

To her credit, she has one novel, MACARTHUR PARK CHRONICLES, (denotes available through Literary Download Center) several books of poetry including ACHERON AND OTHER POEMS, DIFFERENT DRUM, THE LAST POETRY BOOK, THE CASE FOR WISDOM AT 5:00 A.M., SURFACE OF THE LAND, a novella BLACK STAR a coffee table book, ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (THE NEW YORK SCHOOL) (In preparation), and various other paper booklets and pamphlets.

As part of her effort to stimulate interest in original literature at the community level, she periodically makes available POETRY SAMPLERS selected from her copious archives of unpublished poetry. Several are available.

Her poetry is archived at http://www.poemhunter.com

For many years she worked as a professional musician, playing with an impressive array of famous and infamous people. Her music can be heard on Youtube at the Theresa Haffner Channel.

(*Literary Download Center c/o theresahaffner05@gmail.com)

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