Why I Maybe Write Perhaps [by Barbara Barg]

Jiddu Krishnamurti. What a funny guy. Groomed by the Theosophical Society to adorn himself in the costume of World Teacher/New Messiah, he told them to fuck that motherfucking bullshit.  He experienced nakedness, and once naked . . . well, no costume could ever possibly fit. Is what I hear him saying.

I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally.  — JK (1929)

Difficult talking nakedness in a language built for costumes.

Wonder what’s for lunch down at the cafeteria as I sit in this hospital out-patient waiting room while my cousin undergoing surgery improves her vision. Love cafeterias. Loved setting out from a little Arkansas town, headed for Memphis and Britling’s bright tile spread where I eyeball glorified grease and inhale the fragrances of fried chicken, fried okra, fried catfish, collards, butter bosomed mashed potatoes, peach cobbler, angel food cake, thick gravy smothered steak, black-eyed peas, fresh tomatoes and cucumber, cantaloupe, and tapioca. Loved what I thought were so many choices. The present keeps sliding into the past. The past produces so many expectations. I still expect choices. Tangled.

Was a time I walked from 14th Street and Avenue A to 48th Street and 9th Avenue every day after work because Miz Vittitow was dying and I’d stop at my place, then walk to hers and spend the night because I couldn’t bear her spending dying nights alone. One evening I was walking and a filthy, drunken, homeless guy stretched out on stone steps looked so beautiful I had to stop and stare.

All perception shifting into wow the plants, swimming in gorgeous green leaves in lovely pulsing pots who knew clay pots could breathe? Buildings, cars everything a glowing beauty never seen before by me before. Wide awake in every cell alive. Wasn’t stoned on anything and stoned was never so going in this direction so beyond human usual detection, amplified colors and textures stirring almost a clarity I could imagine a clarity longed for clarity. Even the trash a garden of delights. Fuck pedestrian rationale. Pulsing connecting glow working every throbbing molecule of luminous city expanding me in every step clear across town to my dying friend wakes up in the middle of nights staring into approaching eternity impatiently going someplace more familiar. She don’t care where. She just really wants to go. It’s so difficult inhaling those slender Sherman cigarettes with lung cancer. No treatment no thank you. She just really wants to go.

Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path.  — JK (1929)

A softly sung whistling and swish swish seeds in wooden rattle fling me where costumes can’t go. Trembling fear as threads unravel and dissolve. Nothing to wear and no one to wear it. No boundaries, no skin, no stake in the slightest some thing. All narratives collapsed. And yet, here I am. A narrative terrified of collapsing in the midst of collapse.

I try to say it and it’s just words. But I keep trying to say it. Even though it can never be it, it always turns out to be something frustratingly distant.

The world is such a wonder. Isn’t it shocking, grave, gorgeous, gory, nervily musical, wild, caged, wails and croonings, a theatre of whackings upon the indefatigable nasty habits of a species? The polyrhythmic drumming of all these beating hearts in all these creatures crawling flying tunneling riding on four wheels around a planet. Confusion of separation.

This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. — JK (1929)

Lucid confusion almost such tension in the waiting room. The tv. Reality show. Who will the next fool be? Daydream, ah. The lapse I lay my head in. The enormity of being alive. I’ve spent so much time shutting that feeling down. Daydream. No one else in this waiting except Desk Lady doing her job with papers and computer in this cold room. Me reading a book on my phone. About the Angel of the Present Moment sending shockwaves across the digitized globe.

JK says renounce all authority. In the inner space renounce. All. Authority. Yeah sure. Okay. But. The obstructions that imprison clarity. I’m still so entangled.

Our conscience is such a petty affair. How is it our species has been around so long and hasn’t come to clarity? What are the obstacles which prevent clear perception? — JK (1968)

I wish I could tell you.

Barbara_Barg[1] Poet and musician Barbara Barg grew up listening to Delta Blues and Memphis R&B. In New York, she taught poetry to at-risk youth in tough NYC high schools where her students introduced her to hip-hop and rap.  She is the author of two books: Obeying the Chemicals (Hard Press) and The Origin of the Species (Semiotext(e)). Her poetry, short stories, and strong opinions have been published in many magazines and anthologized. She is also a faculty member of The Chicago School of Poetics.

2 thoughts on “Why I Maybe Write Perhaps [by Barbara Barg]

  1. I appreciate all of the JK quotes Barbara has embedded in her writing here, and I love how she has woven her poetry around the quotes.

    It may or may not be relevant to “Why..” but I love this quote of JK. It’s the first I ever heard of him, and seeing it helps me love myself more.

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
    Jiddu Krishnamurti

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