Junior Year

I remember that
junior year
where the
world
was becoming
increasingly
clear
to me or at
least
so I believed.

Where I studied
death and dying
within the classroom
which did nothing
to prepare me
for my grandfather’s
passing.

Where I learned
Chinese philosophy
and studied
the Daodejing
and focused
my energy
internally
through
the ritual
of
tai chi.

I remember
debating
with the seculars
and the
atheists
about
God’s
meaning.

I remember
doing
shrooms
and having
strange
encounters
in the dorm
bathroom
with a
paper
dispenser
which
reminded
me of a
friendly
person
distributing
that
which allows
us to
wash
our hands
clean.

And I remember
the night before
that exam
staying up
at Jack and Ryan’s
and taking
that psilocybin
and drinking
beer
and playing
games
and watching
movies
and walking
through
the streets
without
shoes
on.

And thinking
nothing
wrong with
living a little
bit before
the mind’s
attention
need be
fitted within
the constraints
of multiple
choice questions
and short
answers.

And I remember
smoking
weed
in order to
escape
to imaginary
realms
of the mind
and reading
about the
psychology
of religion
at the same
time.

And I remember
retreating
myself in
New Mexico
with my mother
as we wandered
down hills
to
eternal splendor
in the cool waters
of hot
springs.

And I remember
learning
of the ecstasy
of the drum
beat and
twirling
like the
sufis
while wearing
hoodies.

And I remember
coming out
of that dining
room and
seeing the
bonfire
and knowing
that in burned
for me

And the police men
who stood off
at a distance
unable to participate
to whom I could
relate
because I too
felt
separate
from
many of
my peers.

And I remember
trying to learn
to write
from my teacher
and reading
midwestern
fiction
literature.

And I remember
finding
meaning
in the mysteries
of Jesus
and the tao
of physics
and traveling
to Martinique
to study
french greek.

And I remember
jumping through
the air
with elasticity
and realizing
that the sand
is home to
me and so
is the air
which only
I dared to
explore in
cartwheels
flips and
skinny
dips.

And I remember
learning
about the
inconvenient
truth
and that
my relationship
was
through
and that
Mel Brooks
had nothing
to do
with the
Frisco Kid
that I
knew.

And I remember
turning 21
and escaping
to Atlantic City
for the first time
to throw
down dollars
at the poker
tables
and lose
thousands
because
I was a shitty
player.

And I remember
sleeping in my car
and living that
double life
on those
weekend nights
because that’s
what you do
when
stuff happens.

And I remember
putting my files
in order
and discussing
with my brother
the way
to present
myself
to the top
universities
in such
a way
that they
might accept
me for who
they would
like me
to be
for them.

The resume tinkering
and pawn
positioning
which comes
with
framing one’s
education
in terms
of marks received
and GRE scores
relieving
real considerations
from
having
meaning.

I remember
a lot of things
from this year
where I was single
in my single
dorm room
put to
no good use.

Where the
parties
and tai chi
and frisbee
and gymming
and all those
other things
filled my days
and went by
in a blur
as new thoughts
occurred
about things
yet understood
but soon
to be discovered
in the
senior year
summer.