Archive for September, 2009






Don’t lay a flower on this poet’s grave
or look within these words to know my face:
to who is gone, such kindness is a sieve
that cannot leave your hands the finer trace.


Don’t meditate upon this day alone
with remnants gathered from the Internet,
pretending you had cheered the way, or shown,
before it led to grass beneath your feet.


Closer to you is one who needs your care
far more than any revenant of verse,
who lacks your touch and thus the strength to bear
the mighty length of art in life so terse.


With tears like mine, be certain he shall wait
for love like yours, not fame beyond the gate.

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"SANKHARA-DUKKHA"–a poem by Matt Rouge





Among the things you know about my soul
is that I’d always sought its qualities,
and when at last I won, our ecstasies
were only matched in depth by losing all.


Searching again, I gained each part in full,
but not within one entity to choose:
one had our tones, another one our hues,
and one the scents that breach the trembling wall.


The patience that you share has earned its mate,
and everything we are has well combined
with love, the thing for which I couldn’t wait.


Yet, through this very process, I have found
not you, not me, not us, but only thought
partitioned by the fragrance, light, and sound.

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Love means not testing the other person

More and more it strikes me that life is a series of tests. Now, when something happens to me or a person does something to me I don’t like, I ask myself, “How am I being tested here? What is the wise and loving way to respond?”

It has therefore also occurred to me that, in a committed relationship, one of the major things to which the two persons are committing is to not testing each other. Rather, they are committing to facing life’s tests together as a team.

There is no doubt that, once two people thus commit, the world will sorely test the mettle of the commitment itself. It will attempt constantly to turn one person against the other through various means. They who can remain adamant in their commitment, however, and retain their dedication to the team, can take on the tests that come at them as individuals and as a pair with much greater strength and stamina than they could without such unity.

One of the greatest ways to show one’s love for a person is to refuse to be party to the world’s testing of that person.

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I love factories

I love factories. I love warehouses. I love getting my hands on machines and learning how they work.

I worked in the semiconductor industry in Japan from October 2002 to May 2004. My job was marketing, but for the first six months I trained in the applications lab, learning to run the dicing saws that cut wafers into chips and the grinders and polishers that gave wafers the right size and texture. I even learned how to use the laser dicing saw.

The machines were beautiful. The dicing saws had spindles that could revolve at 60,000 rpm–1,000 revolutions in just one second! It is difficult to imagine, even when you are directly staring at the velocity.

We did experiments on various workpieces–semiconductor products of all types–that really helped companies create the products they needed to create. Doing so gave me a considerable feeling of accomplishment.

When I worked for a trading company in Japan, I also spent many hours in warehouses, packing products. For example, one time we bought 1950s dimes and packed them with nostalgic Coca-Cola-themed banks we were selling on TV.

I have had my dream job of writer for the past five years, but my experiences of working with gembutsu (real things) in gemba (real places) has had a big impression on me. In doing my writing work, I still love visiting client’s workplaces and learning about their operations in detail. One of my new clients is a dry cleaning company, and it has been fascinating to learn how dry cleaning works, too.

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