6 x 9 paperback, 152 pages

Probably every

person around you

believes and will tell you

with great

assurance

that you must think

of others, compromise, do things

to make them happy.

 

It’s tricky because this is in

the vicinity of truth

and yet off.

You can feel it.

 

What isn’t taught

is that you already want

others to be happy.

That’s part of you

being happy. In fact,

you love it.

Oh, except

when it feels

imposed.

 

Sleep in.

Find your footing.

Eat the last

donut.

 

Don’t gather

wood for

the fire. Be it.

Advice for Me and Maybe You

a collection of advice poems  

(selections below)

This thing you're doing

right now 

it's called life.

What thing? This?

Yes. 

In the Gospels,

the word

in the original

Greek that English-

men translated as “sin”

did not mean sin.

 

It meant “to miss

the mark” as when

in Homer, a spear curves

off target.

That’s all.

 

There was another

Greek word that meant

sin. It was not used.

 

Christ did not speak of sin.

He spoke of missing the mark.

He wasn’t fierce about morality.

He was fierce about turning

from error.

 

Be fierce about turning

from any thought

that says you are not loved.

We want to fall in love

with someone else and

we want to

have someone

fall

in love with us.

 

It’s always someone else

that we want

to love us.

Always someone else we want

to do what we won’t.

 

That’s like saying, “Come on in,

the door’s locked.”

You’ve been perhaps

wanting

normal people to like you.

 

Otherwise you think you’ll die

lonely and poor, because normal

people have all the love and all

the money.

 

But you are not normal and nor

is anyone else.

 

Say it a lot, until it just becomes

a funny sound—

Normal. Normal. Normal.

Normal, normal, normal,

normal, normal—

or a small, furry, burrowing,

blind creature.

 

You are not a straight rod; you’re a bent

and arching branch of the one

great tree.

© 2018 by Chris Dingman