Advice from an Old Vagrent

An old man that I met in '92, told me 
"you should meditate in burial grounds." 
Then he added "In Tibet! Cemetaries in America 
are parks. In Tibet there are half decayed bodies 
or half-eaten bodies left from animals. 
In America, maybe meditate in airports." 
I meditate during root canal.

"You, YOU have to be aware of dying. 
You know about death, everybody writes about death 
and the bardo, but dying is ANOTHER thing all together." 
He was very aware of my situation; "Success is false. 
You cannot be drugged by it. You will die, 
you will suffer in dying, this is inescapable. 
You think you can cheat death, 
but you cannot cheat dying." He died in 2013. 

My old man, my father, was a robust, post WWII guy. 
"Don't let the environment beat ya!" 
You recognize the past tense. 
He died twelve days ago. 
Dad was not into meditation. THINK, he would say, THINK! 
He taught me analysis, thinking, 
caring about family as the only way. 
In the end, he had dimentia. 
He had visions of women on the ceiling. 
Not romantic visions, confusing & mind twisting visions. 
He also saw some horror he never told me about. 
I saw it in his eyes.

There are visions that creep within us. 
My old man, now gone, mouth agape, eyes open. 
This is my current haunt. 

How do you shake a ghost when you love him? 
You never escape the visage of your dead hero, 
the decay of his body, his catheter, his spindly legs. 
And you don't want to either. What else is left? 

He told me he wanted to go, 
but that was before his mind withered. 
Even that, he was aware of now and again. 

Once when I was twelve 
I dropped my jack-knife down a sewer drain.


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