Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Peace and longing

Peace and longing,
one in each hand.
How can this be?

-Jim DuBois
March 6, 2012

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

the same world

Brilliant clarity
in the sunlight,
sinking feeling
in my heart,
how are they
in the same world?

-Jim DuBois
March 6, 2012

Friday, November 13, 2015

The time I really wish I could fly

The time
I really wish
I could fly
is at the end
of these short
Fall days
when the last
bits of sunshine
are slowly climbing
the library walls, 
coloring the
tops of trees
and lighting up
the clouds like a painting. 

- Jim DuBois
Nov 13, 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Daniel and the Spaghetti

Daniel and I
were so hungry -
him because the dining hall
    was closed already
and me because
    I was homeless
    and always hungry, -
so we cooked some spaghetti
    in the dorm lounge
But didn't have a drainer
    so tilted the pot
over the sink of dirty dishes
and yes, it fell in,
so we cooked another batch
    bu that fell in too,
    right in the backed-up sink
But we were so hungry
    we fished it out
    and ate it anyway,
even though
we didn't mean to.

-Jim DuBois
Sep 7, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I said, "I like you."
You said, "That means you don't love me."

I said, "I love you."
You said, "You're just saying that
    because of what I said."

I said, "No, no! It's true: I love you."
You said, "You don't look at me
    the right way when you say it."

I said, "I'm not sure what to do."
You said, "I knew you didn't love me."

-Jim DuBois
March 5, 2010

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Why Everything Takes Too Long and No One Can Actually Know History, or Anything Else, Probably

I left Cafe Evolution
to get back on my bike
and head home,
but I noticed
that my bag of groceries
was missing,
so I looked around,
asked if anyone had seen it,
nope, oh well,
and I was in
a bad mood already,

so I ride home thinking,

"What kind of asshole
steals a loaf of bread
and a bottle of vitamins
out of a crappy looking bike?"

and trying to be reasonable:

"I guess they probably
needed it badly,"

but veering away from that
to thinking about how
I would have caused
them harm if I
caught them in the act,
then veering away
from THAT
to thinking
that maybe somehow
I deserved to have
it stolen from me
because my white people
took land from the Indians,
and then fantasizing about
posting about the theft on FB
to get some sympathy
but thinking
that's probably
too self indulgent and lame
and then fantasizing
about what I will say
to the host of the party
I was going to bring
the bread to,

"Somebody stole it
from my bike!
I was too discouraged
and sad and broke
to go buy another one,
so I didn't bring anything.
I hope that's ok,"

but thinking that's
probably lame too,
but maybe not,
if said relaxedly.

Alright, well,
I get home
and check FB
and they had found the bag
under a car at the cafe!

So I biked back
to get it
and I'm thinking again
the whole way,

"How did it get under there?
Maybe some asshole
was hiding it to get later."

or maybe someone
was being "kind"
by taking my bread
out of the sun,
which sounds
absurd now,
but was convincing then,
who knows why.

Then it clicked in my brain...

the bike basket had been
tilted oddly to one side...

the bike must have fallen over,
the bag fell out,
rolled under the car,
and someone
righted the bike after...

but of course
I started imagining
that maybe they
were pissed off
about not having
enough room
on the bike rack,
so they probably
roughly shoved my bike
around on purpose.

"What kind of
fucking asshole
does that???"

Then I guess I calmed down,
because I got my stuff back,
and I decided
to try and record
all the details

(and of course
I left out tons,
forgot so much, etc)

of this one incident,
one afternoon,
one man
and his thoughts,
his misinterpretations
and imaginings
about something so trivial,
in order to show
why everything takes too long
and no one can actually
know history,
or anything else,

-Jim DuBois
September 4, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I Remember Richard

He used to say,
"I'm the only
Jewish Indian!"

Born in Brooklyn,
he'd gone and lived
at Pine Ridge reservation
back in the '60s or '70s
and gotten to be
one of the tribe

I met him at
Fire & Water,
and we would talk
about things I mostly
don't remember now,
except that he had
spiritual things to say
about ordering pie,

"We pay not for goods
and services,
but out of kindness towards
the people who worked
at making it,"


"Since we are only
here for a short time,
it's important
to enjoy things like pie."

He was also the one
who told me to read
Lame Deer, seeker of visions,
because I think he knew
Lame Deer personally,
and that book's the reason
I say hello to squirrels
out loud now.

Richard was one of those friends
you'd see randomly
at the cafe,
so its hard to say
when the last time
I saw him was,
but its been a while now
since Fire & Water
even existed
and he was old back then,
so who knows
where he's gone to now,
and I'm not sure why
he came to mind
all these years later,
but here is
my message for him
wherever he is:

"Shalom aleichem,
Toksa ake waunkte."

-Jim DuBois
Aug 30, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

This Sad/Beautiful World



and we live forever
      and only a day.

-Jim DuBois
July 30, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Giving Up the Search

If we could give up
our search for perfection,
"the one",
that perfect place,
that perfect time,
that perfect person,
and accept the good
in what comes our way
or create good
in the here and now
when we need to,

we could embrace
more fully
these wonderful days and lives
we've been given,

but to accept now,
to accept that
there are no perfect people,
not even any perfect lives
or perfect moments,
is to lift up
your broken heart,
your old wounds,
those ancient fears and frustrations,
those delusions you labor under,
and say,
"This happened.
I can't fix it.
I can't change the past.
I didn't like it.
The world is not perfect.
Bad things happen in it.
There is suffering,
and pain,"

and that's harder than it seems,
but you can pause a moment,
and add,

"but there is goodness.
I have seen it.
I have done it.
I have been it."

-Jim DuBois
July 28, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Writing by Hand

Writing by hand
at The Roost,
I counted twelve laptops,
and noted it down
with this everyday pen
and cheap notebook.

Writing by hand
is fun.
I enjoy it more than
typing on a computer.
I like sometimes
misspelling a word
and not having
an instant correction.
It takes some of
the professionalism
out of art
and life.

I'm not against technology either.
I will probably type this up
for publication on my blog.

I like using computers,
and tablets,
and the internet.
I've made some things
I couldn't have made
any other way.

pens and writing
are also technologies,
just much older.

Mostly what I am saying
is that different tools
can do different things,
that there is a use and a feeling
you might get out of
whatever you have at hand to
make stuff with.

But it is funny,
something about all the
expensive laptops,
vs my cheap pen and paper.

Probably pens
were an amazing
cutting edge thing
at one point,
but now you can get a dozen
for a dollar
at a surplus store.

I don't think their creative
usefulness has diminished though.
We've just become used to them.

-Jim DuBois
Feb 18, 2012

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Now when it rains

Now when it rains,
you can't drive me home

-Jim DuBois
April 3, 2012

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I caught a firefly tonight

I caught a firefly tonight
and it reminded me of you
then it climbed out of my hands
and flew away into the darkness

-Jim DuBois
June 28 2012

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

two people

Sometimes it's just
two people
building a little boat of love
to stay afloat
in the chaotic universe

Sometimes it's just
two people
not lovers
not perfect friends
but close enough to matter

Sometimes it's just
two people,
even though
they wished for more,
and two will work

Sometimes it's just
two people
two ordinary people
two imperfect people
two good people.

-Jim DuBois
Jan 5, 2007

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

where he had buried his name

_________ returned
to the forest spot
where he had
buried his name
in anger,
before he had gone
into the mortal world
in search of battle
and redemption,
and the forest
had fallen in
upon that burial spot,
closed the paths,
made it hard
to get to,
but he pushed through
the thorn bushes,
and stepped around
the fallen logs,
and retrieved his name,
and no one
has set foot
there ever again.

-Jim DuBois
Sep 25, 2013

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The days pass by

The days pass by
  like lovers
    and old friends,

Unfolding in ways you didn't expect,
  and turning into memories
    before you can grasp them

-Jim DuBois
July 20, 1998

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A weird cadence

A weird cadence

An eerily fantastic flow
of sounds in language

An uncanny,
so as to inspire superstitious fear,
extravagantly fanciful
outpouring of vibrations
transmitted through the air
which stimulate
the organs of hearing
and produce
sensations interpreted as
a system of linguistic
signs or symbols.

-Jim DuBois
March 23, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Objects are Relationships

Objects are relationships
of energy
Apparently stable
a rock is
ever changing

-Jim DuBois
Summer 1992

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Working Class Wisdom #3

This old guy,
a building contractor,
loved to tell me
about life
and one thing he said
stuck with me:

"Pursuit is the evidence
of desire."

-Jim DuBois
March 23, 2015

Working Class Wisdom #4
Working Class Wisdom #2

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Working Class Wisdom #2

At a tag sale
on the way to the Berkshires,
I hear a guy say,

"It's a good day
if you're not in a hole
with them throwing dirt
on you."

-Jim DuBois
March 23, 2015

Working Class Wisdom #3
Working Class Wisdom

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Working Class Wisdom

A man walking down the street,
his daughter trailing behind,
and I overhear him say,

"Because being nice
doesn't always get things done."

-Jim DuBois
March 23, 2015

Working Class Wisdom #2

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How I used to write poems

Like the sun
Like gravity and hurricanes
Like the first day of spring
Like the first snowflake of winter
Like the smell of rain on warm pavement
Like the secret fort in the stone wall from long ago
Like those early friendships
Like the ever-expanding universe
Like a radio-wave
Like first love
Like possibilities
Like nothingness

-Jim DuBois
April 12, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

not unhappy

not unhappy
not unhappy
not unhappy...

what is this feeling?

-Jim DuBois
March 19, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

As I walked along the road

As I walked along the road
thinking about nature
            about vast uncivilized wilderness
            about technology destroying nature
I failed to notice the thick undergrowth by the roadside
                        the harmony of where I was
                        the perfect union of tar and tree
                                                    pavement and grass
                                                    myself and my surroundings

As I sat in my room
looking out the window
I failed to notice the glass in the panes
                        the dirt on the grass
                        my eyes

-Jim DuBois
Fall 1991

This was probably the first poem I wrote in my adult life, and it was kind of like a liberating ephipany that I could notice something, have something to say about it simply and directly, and write it down in a way that pleased me, slowed people down, and enhanced the meaning with its form.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

when you get desperate

Some people say
that you'll do something
when you get desperate,
and they kind of mean
in a good way,
but they don't know me
that well, I guess,
because when I get
desperate and use it
for motivation,
I sit around
lamenting my human mortality
and wondering
"why bother?"

-Jim DuBois
March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I have no answers
for the absurdity
of life

-Jim DuBois
March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What is actual motivation?

How much
of "giving a shit"
is fueled
by fear, desperation and urgency,
and how much
by actual
simple motivation?

What is actual motivation?

(Yes, it's one of
those kind of
spring afternoons)

-Jim DuBois
March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


I don't have
but I do have
a PH level
and sometimes I think
that's what really counts.

-Jim DuBois
March 23, 2000

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Notes from 2015

  1. Things take time.
  2. Progress is incremental.
  3. Love adds meaning to life.
  4. Perseverance is important to achieving things.
  5. Life ends up being what it is instead of what you wished it was; but if you accept that you can work with it and move forward.

-Jim DuBois
Inspired by the previous entry.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Notes from Years ago

  1. Slow down, find Natural rhythms
  2. See world in biggest picture possible.
    Expand your boundaries, increase your visions
  3. See Now (present moment) as
    complex sum of all there is;
    helps you understand that
    every moment is always
    new and different
  4. See your place in the universe

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Christmas Eve

Christmas eve
in this creaky old
so quiet, so peaceful
-- almost everyone else
has gone away.

-Jim DuBois
Dec 24, 2014

Monday, January 19, 2015

no special people

There are no special people out there
no good perfect magical ones
it only seems that way sometimes
in a desperate moment
or an endorphin rush

You don't find good relationships
you build them

Can you work
with who you've got?

-Jim DuBois
April 9, 2014