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  2. Man, this is a well-written piece...


    Wabi-Sabi and the Zen sense of humor

    The old adage “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is something almost everyone can agree on. In terms of Japanese ascetics and what makes worthy subjects for poetry, they are governed by the concept of wabi-sabi. The two words can more or less be rendered in English as sadness and rust.[1] But what does that mean?

    Well, different people react differently to the same experience. For some, when they stroll along a wooded path and see a log being rotted by the rain, or encounter a lichen-spotted boulder, may think “decay” and no more. For others, the sights remind them of the cycle of life, of how trees live and die so others may replace them in the fullness of time, or regarding the boulder, may pause to think how earthlike it is and associate humans clinging to the surface of our planet.

    But take the same experience and view it from an enlightened wabi-sabi perspective and you will notice how the moisture glistens off the pieces of fragmented wood; you think it’s beautiful and lonely. You will notice the boulder and think that even this seemingly immobile thing is temporary; it fell from someplace, and it is slowly – inextricably – moving on. All things/all life is just the same: temporary although appearing fixed.

    These feelings are directly linked to a Chinese form of Buddhism which took root and thrived in Japan. In about the year 1200, Zen gained ground and popularity amongst the elite and spread quickly. It taught enlightenment in ways where the acolyte interacted with the world directly. It would be as if the Shakers set up compounds in Manhattan and went out each day to find their simplicity amongst the chaos. This very real struggle to zone in on what matters led to some remarkable art, both visual and literary.

    Skewed humor is a trademark of the movement. But why? To me it seems a way to downplay the stress of everyday concerns and embrace the absurdness of life and death itself – to achieve freedom from them, in other words.

    Examples of Zen paintings are pretty well-known. The Enso mark is a giant calligraphy “O”, which can stand for the concept of absolute infinity and absolute nihility existing simultaneously (yes, lol, it’s meant to blow your mind; meant to show you that thought itself is nothing but a pointless, vicious circle). Another popular image explored by Zen artists relates to the Buddha’s transfiguration. This moment, when the master died surrounded by his lovers and apostles, is a favorite subject of mainstream Buddhism. Since whiteness is associated with the master, a Zen painter imagined the scene anchored by a giant white daikon radish – the dying Buddha – attended by mournful mice. This of course was meant to be both humorous and sacrilegious. It is arguable what the exact message is supposed to be, but the humor suggests that people not take religious iconography too seriously; instead, perhaps the picture says, be inspired by the natural sights around us all the time.

    This same humor can be found in the poetry of 14th century Zen abbot Ikkyu. He once got naked at a dinner being hosted in his honor, laying his vestments in front of his food tray. When asked why, he replied, “Because you serve my robes of office, not the me within them.”

    In his verse, he delighted in his eccentric ways, referring to himself as “Crazy Cloud,” the wander.


    Each day and every minute,

    Priests pore over their secret texts in the dark.

    Before they go blind, however,

    I wish they’d read the epistles

    sent daily by the wind and rain;

    by the snow and the moonlight.


    ◇ ◇ ◇



    I’d like to offer you

    something to soothe you,

    but in the Way of Zen,

    we don’t have a goddamned thing.  


    ◇ ◇ ◇


    Joy and hate; relationships and loneliness;

    clarity/shadows; heat/coolness; anger/happiness;

    the self and the outsiders –

    philosophy and every poetic road to Beauty

    leads only to decay and perdition,

    but look what we find along the Way!

    A path strewn with blossoms of apricot and peach. 


    He was also famous/infamous for ignoring the precept of priestly celibacy. In fact, he celebrated sex in his writings as a means of connection between human beings and the larger world outside ourselves.



    Lovemaking can transcend this life.

    The stirrings of a single autumn night of sex

    surpass the staid, hundred-year wait

    of meditating alone, sitting still.


    ◇ ◇ ◇



    Lust hurts the bearer when deepest,

    causing a dearth of poetry and words,

    yet now, my pleasure is the most natural,

    like a breeze playing through my empty halls.


    I hope learning about how to approach the world via wabi-sabi and a Zen sense of humor can add depth to your poetry, especially to your Tanka and Haiku.



    [1] A literal translation would be “isolation” and “oxidation” (as the Japanese language makes no distinction between rust and patina). When Japanese wish to express a feeling of sadness, they rarely use the actual word for it (which is kanashii), but rather choose between sabashii or wabashii instead. Both express a sense of being devoid of human contact, and in using them as a substitute for “sadness”, speak volumes about the well-known Japanese collective thinking. The nuances in the terms are these: wabi also conveys a sense of the poor or rustic; thus a lonely rich man can only be sabashii in his isolation.       


  3. Wayne Gray

    Not Boyfriends

    Thanks for the comment. 🙂 I know it's my own upbringing that has made me leave the law out of family matters as much as possible. It's seen as weakness. That you can't protect what is yours without enlisting help. Yeah, they don't have much choice now, but it's a last-case scenario for them.
  4. With over 150 chapters and over 750,000 words, my little story about a gay kid coming of age turned out a little longer than I originally intended. Okay, a hell of a lot longer. The writing style may have evolved over the last four-and-a-half years, but the original vision remained constant. I wanted to write a positive story, reflecting real lives. And as I told my editor after a typical snarky comment: Damn right I'm having a happy-ever-after ending. Speaking of editors and snarky comments, @Mann Ramblings is one of my heroes. An accomplished, published author, he took a chance with an untested rookie and stuck with me through the entire series. His comments kept me inspired and laughing. He guided me and taught me. If you've enjoyed these stories give him a shout-out. @Bucket1, @Kitt, and @Reader1810 were invaluable. They all helped me and contributed to making my rambling style into coherent works. Countless others have answered questions and offered advice; I would probably forget someone if I tried to list them all, so I won't. Finally, to readers everywhere. Thank you for believing in me and sticking with the story. And for making it one of the most popular series ever posted on Gay Authors. I have a request... Please take a few minutes to like the chapter AND the story. Leave me a chapter comment and/or a story one. And if you feel inspired, leave a review. It's been a fun, interesting ride. I'll be back in a couple of months with something a little different. Carlos A. Hazday Wilton Manors, Florida 3 April 2019
  5. chris191070


    Twins - 1 boy and 1 girl
  6. Wayne Gray

    Not Boyfriends

    Thanks, Parker. Bear traps could certainly work. Maybe if the cameras don't work!
  7. chris191070

    Alo Chapter 32

    Awesome chapter.
  8. Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.
  9. Carlos Hazday


    @Kitt Hell, I have the same problem. It's taken a lot of willpower not to mention Liz leaving eggs for the guys. I'm certain they weren't meant for them when she froze them, but Liz was practical when she realized she wouldn't be able to use them herself. The kid will be 1/2 Abello and 1/2 Liston. How perfect is that?
  10. Kitt


    You know dang well the reason I don't comment much for people I work with is I am afraid of slipping up and let details out, for example the sex of the baby. I feel weird calling the child it when I know what pronoun to use! There are other little details I need to keep mum too so...
  11. Carlos Hazday


    Between Gamon and Benjamin Mookjai, Fabricio Baravento, and Carolina Prado, their kid has friends before it's born. But no, I'm not writing so far into the future to cover their lives.
  12. Carlos Hazday


    @Daddydavek Fasteschapter to read? This one was over a thousand words longer than the last one! Wait until you read the story I'm working on right now. I'm experimenting with the thousand-words-a-chapter format! I can't remember exactly, but you may have been one of the people who cautioned me when I posted an excerpt from Summer way back when. I had a description of the dads' townhouse that sounded like a realtor's listing. I've tried to dribble things out and we'll get a few more tidbits next chapter when they reclaim possession of the house. And yes, they're stereotypical Millenials with the wealth to make most wishes come through. As for siblings for the baby, let me quote CJ: " And like you, we want to be our kids’ friends too." Notice the plural kids?
  13. Philippe

    Cruella de Vil

    This whole relationship is like a very expressive song; not only the lyrics but the music too reflects the tormented condition. 🎶 One step closer to the edge, I’m about o break! 🎶 … Everything you say to me Takes me one step closer to the edge And I'm about to break I need a little room to breathe… Song by Linkin Park
  14. LilDaddy98

    Not Boyfriends

    I think Wren should let Tracy go "Uncle Hunting." She seems like the type of lady that would enjoy that. 🤣 I also feel that Wren should have contacted the sheriff at least to document the incidents. That way they are on record and can see the eventual progression that the uncles' will deviate to. Keep up the excellent work sir.
  15. Carlos Hazday


    Thanks! I want you to know my status update this morning was posted with you in mind. I figured you would question a chapter going live on a day other than Friday.
  16. Katya Dee

    Chapter 21

    Specter's Gamble (chapter 21) It was ten minutes to eight on Friday night, and they walked into the house behind the old Plaza. “I still can’t believe that you forgot about a safe here,” Desmond said with a grimace. “This would’ve been so much easier and less risky...” “Yeah, well,” Rayhe shrugged. “The last time we were here, the safe wasn’t anywhere near my mind... And then I simply didn’t think about it,” he shrugged again. “It’s all good though. The more money, the merrier, right?” “Right,” the assassin sighed. “Ah, crap!” Gabriel slapped his forehead. “I forgot my notebook in the car,” he explained after Desmond shot him a puzzled look. “I don’t remember the combination to the safe... Be right back.” Desmond shrugged and headed towards the couch. Rayhe went outside, his eyes darting around. “Well done,” Julian said behind him, and Gabriel whirled around. Salamander wasn’t alone; there was another man whom Gabriel didn’t recognize. “Give me the vial,” Julian said and stretched out his hand. Rayhe blinked. “I have to make sure that you didn’t tamper with it,” Salamander explained, and Gabriel slowly pulled the vial out of his pocket and handed it to Julian. Salamander studied the vial for several minutes, narrowing his eyes and turning the small container back and forth. Finally, he seemed to be satisfied and handed the vial back to Rayhe. “Alessandro...” Julian nodded at his silent companion. “...is going to walk in and make sure that Specter is indeed out after the drug takes effect. He will also handcuff him... Just in case,” he added with a small smile. “Now go, master Rayhe. Finish what you started.” Gabriel silently walked back inside the house. “Got it?” Desmond asked him, and Rayhe demonstrated a small notebook. The assassin nodded. “You wanna drink?” Gabriel asked casually, and Desmond nodded almost immediately. “Yeah,” he said. “That would be great... I’m gonna take a leak,” he added and started towards the bathroom. “Okay,” Rayhe muttered. Gabriel walked into the kitchen and pulled two short glasses out of the cupboard. He filled them with old whiskey that he found on one of the shelves, and then pulled that vial out of his pocket. He stared at it for several very long minutes, and finally, he broke off the plastic top of it, and emptied its contents into one of the glasses. He dropped the empty vial into the garbage disposal and flicked the switch on the wall. The garbage disposal came to life with a furious roar, and Rayhe turned it off after a minute. “I could definitely use a drink right now,” Desmond said from behind him, and Gabriel’s shoulders tensed. “It’s been a while since my last one...” Rayhe handed him the glass, and the assassin gave him a small nod, thanking him. They drank in silence, Gabriel’s eyes locked on Desmond’s glass. The assassin simply gulped the whiskey down and set the glass on the counter. “That was good,” he said with satisfaction. “Come on, let’s get to that safe...” Rayhe finished his own drink, set the glass on the counter next to Desmond’s, and walked closer to the assassin. Desmond blinked when Gabriel put both of his hands on his shoulders. “Hey,” Rayhe said quietly. “What?” Desmond frowned slightly. “Something wrong?” Instead of answering, Gabriel leaned forward and planted a long kiss on the assassin’s mouth. “I love you,” he said in the same quiet voice after he pulled away, and Desmond’s eyes became wide. “I am sorry...” he added after a few seconds. Desmond’s frown came back onto his forehead. “What...” he started saying, and suddenly, he swayed on his feet. “Wait...” he muttered and grabbed onto the counter. “Wait...” He blinked rapidly, and slowly slid onto the tiled floor of the kitchen. He raised his head and looked at Rayhe with a mix of confusion, surprise, and disbelief. “I am sorry...” Gabriel whispered again. “You...” Desmond muttered. “You drugged me... Why...?” “I am sorry,” Rayhe whispered one last time, and the front door of the house creaked open. Alessandro walked into the kitchen, a dark smile twisting his mouth. Without saying anything, he walked closer to Desmond and kicked him in the ribs hard. The assassin groaned and fell onto the floor facedown. Alessandro was about to kick him again, but Rayhe grabbed his arm. “Enough!” he said sharply. “Enough!” Alessandro scowled at him, but lowered his leg. He pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket and went down on one knee. “You killed my brother, you son of a bitch,” he said quietly while twisting Desmond’s arms behind his back and sliding the handcuffs onto his wrists. “You broke his neck,” he hissed and forced Desmond to roll over so he could look into his eyes. “Back in that house... You broke his neck,” he said again and placed both of his palms on either side of the assassin’s head. “I should do the same to you...” he muttered. “Right now...!” His fingers dug harder into Desmond’s scalp, and the assassin let out a moan, his eyes unfocused because of the drug, his body limp. “Don’t!” Rayhe said sharply. Alessandro took a deep breath and slowly lowered his arms. “The only reason I am not going to do it,” he said through his clenched teeth. “Is because Julian wants to kill you himself, you piece of shit!” He slapped Desmond’s face hard and got up. “Let’s go,” he said shortly after glancing at Rayhe. “Wait...” Gabriel muttered. “Let me...” he coughed. “Let me say good-bye...” he finished in almost a whisper. “Your hands,” Alessandro said sharply. “Show them to me!” Gabriel slowly stretched out his hands. “Hurry up,” Alessandro said after making sure that Rayhe’s hands were indeed empty. Gabriel went down on one knee, Alessandro watching him intently. Rayhe slowly ran his fingers through Desmond’s hair, and then he leaned forward and placed another kiss on the assassin’s mouth, hugging him briefly. “I am sorry...” he whispered again, and Desmond didn’t say anything to that; he seemed to be almost out of it. “Let’s go,” Alessandro grabbed Gabriel’s shoulder, forcing him to get up. “Let’s go!” They walked out of the house, and Alessandro slammed the door hard. Julian was waiting for them by the car that was sitting in front of the house now. “Well done,” he nodded at Rayhe. “What are you going to do?” Gabriel asked in a hoarse voice, and Salamander smiled. “You get your clean slate, master Rayhe,” he almost purred. “I don’t even care if you stay in this city; you don’t exist for me or my family anymore. Now, if I were you, I would get away from this place as soon as possible,” he added and pulled something that looked like a small white box out of his pocket. “Because it’s going to be very hot here in a few minutes.” “You are giving him such an easy death?” Alessandro asked him in a very tight voice. “After everything he’s done? He’ll be unconscious when the house burns!” Julian smiled. “No,” he said, and Rayhe’s eyes went wide. “That particular drug incapacitates only; it doesn’t make you unconscious. He will feel everything.” “You said you were not going to make him suffer!” Gabriel almost screamed. “You gave me your word, you bastard!” “I am not laying a finger on him, am I?” Salamander looked content. “He is going to burn alive and he is going to feel everything... To be honest, it’s an easier death compared to some,” he shrugged. “It’s not going to last long. Good-bye, master Rayhe,” and he looked at Gabriel pointedly. “I want to make sure that you are far enough from the house. I don’t want you to sneak into the back door and save him...” a small smile snaked its way through his lips. Rayhe stared at him with helpless hatred for several minutes, and then he turned around and stumbled towards his car. Julian watched him climb inside and drive away. He nodded after Rayhe’s vehicle was far enough, and got into his own car, Alessandro following him silently. They were safely far from the house when Julian rolled down the window and pressed a button on the small white box. There was a loud booming sound, as if an insane thunder decided to unleash its rage upon the city, and then the house was ablaze. ...Gabriel brought the car to a screeching halt when he heard the explosion. He climbed out and stared behind him. The house that he left several minutes ago was flaming in the darkness of the night like a huge torch. Rayhe stood there frozen for several minutes, and then he slowly got into the car and drove away.
  17. Carlos Hazday


    You're one of a handful of people who know the kid's gender, so be careful. LOL Last year I got the presents on my birthday; I'm paying it forward. I may have overdone the sun today, I'm about to go harvest aloe leaves from one of my plants.
  18. Today
  19. Carlos Hazday


    LOL It's good to have you comment! Can you believe I was accused of not milking Liz's death for more drama? HA! Glad you enjoyed that, Kitt. Thank you.
  20. Philippe

    Cruella de Vil

    Hmmm....making her the “First” See You Next Tuesday; worthy of special/high recognition as the #1. Thanks to DaBeagle for giving us the comic relief needed to deal with Tyson’s mom.
  21. Carlos Hazday


    I've read the chapter countless time and I'm still not tired of it.
  22. Carlos Hazday


    Ugh! We have another appearance by Brad next chapter; CJ's not done meddling. I've been known to rush through events, but I think I've milked the baby and Brad plenty. Let's see if I can keep it going.
  23. Carlos Hazday


    Well, we finally found out what was in the letter. Took two books, but I hope it was worth the wait and it's now clear why I avoided details before. Liz leaving them her frozen eggs was a good confluence, CJ and Owen have been saying they wanted kids since before her death. So, don't think of it as a deathbed promise, but a happy confluence of wishes.
  24. MrM

    GFD: Body Disposal 2

    “My ‘life,’ at best, is misery.” ~ Dracula
  25. Carlos Hazday


    I think CJ may be the one to spoil the kid. Hopefully, Owen will rein him in when he goes overboard.
  26. Carlos Hazday


    LOL You did guess correctly. Maybe we can start a pool on whether it's a boy or a girl. I think only 5 people know the baby's gender right now. Because they've worked on this book or because they read some other story where I referenced the kid. Place your bets!
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