A Second Chance.

druggy and sore
adorned in tubes and sutures
he scrawls in an awkward semi-circle:
“thought to be extinct.”        
(still here. no Darwin Award for you…)

“and now…and now…so what now?”

a voice said: “drunk-driving accident, just you.
leg and face shattered, but you will walk again.”
two weeks in a coma, wheelchair-bound.
tossed about in a storm of
Daliesque dreams…

jaws wired, his first garbled words:
“Did I marry a Japanese girl?”
a mother’s relief, “He still has his sense of humor”.
in the dream, it was very real.
she felt real. she looked happy. he was.
his suit-coat was very expensive…
swooning at the reception,
lost in a deep kiss.
(she’s gone now. just a dream. just this pain)
who’s that sorry mess in the mirror?

no time for self-pity, only disbelief:
“…whatever I am,
I’ll never be right again.

lucky to be alive–but not all here,

upside down looking at myself,
a revenant in my own room.”

a torrent of questions and remorse,
don’t get caught in ‘why‘ and ‘what if.’
this mad, sanguine world–
for all the yawp and bluster,
you barely scratched the surface, lad.

“time wasted, now helpless.”

pretty nurse, blue eyes sparkling,
in one sharp tug–catheter rudely removed.
(“never…has a smile…hurt so much”)
sleep comes in fits, he wets the bed.
humiliated. wholly reliant upon others.

“nothing to grasp: no hope. no past. just now.
let go…complete surrender.”

in the dream, he was aboard a jet plane
accompanied by a zen priest, a Tibetan lama,
and a dog.
the lama blessed him with sacred words.
the dog peed on his leg. the zen priest
smiled and bowed:
‘Realize the unobstructed totality of reality’.
he walked through snow 
as cherry blossoms rained down.
it was very cold~
smiling, he welcomed oblivion with a deep kiss.
how to know reality from the dream?

“I’ll never be right again, not separate.”

as he lay still and peaceful,
visitors sat in solemn joy.
a gentle hug: her long, dark hair was soft and curly,
wet salty tears…
(“yes, we had been lovers.”)

snapshots of himself on the wall:
someone who secretly feared
the deafening minutiae of life
(it’s in the eyes–
they always give it away).

perched in his wheelchair, 
fourth of july explosions
reflect silently in his eyes.
a cousin’s funeral, a brother’s wedding:
“the world moves on, with or without me.”

(none of it really matters and all of it really matters.
because nothing is special, everything is special).

the thing behind the word.
metal beneath skin and bones.
the miracle of sea-salt within our blood.
all moments have their beginning, middle, and end.
(as do you, me, all of It).

“here I am.  
they put me back together… so what now?
gone. gone. gone again.”




{He’s Alive!}



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Eric Vogt

Eric Vogt

Eric Vogt practices Buddhist meditation and studies various spiritual traditions. He is a musician, drum circle facilitator, Kirtan junkie, songwriter, ASCAP member; he has lived in the UK, New York City, Chicago, and Cleveland. He enjoys yoga, tai chi, reading, quote-mongering (“A smattering of everything and a knowledge of nothing.” ~ Charles Dickens), reverent irreverence, unguarded moments, voluntary simplicity, poetry, biking, the edge of storms, being walked by his dog, eating fresh radishes–with sea salt and/or Irish butter. You can connect with him on Facebook.
Eric Vogt

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