EDITOR’S NOTE: I have been excavating old journals while working on a “sorta memoir.” Here is something from 2005— a life snapshot in beats, dipthongs and no stops. PS: I no longer smoke marijuana (eight years sober). | feb19.2022

Photocopy machine photo-collage | 200g

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by douglas john imbrogno

I am 47, the day is Jan. 2, the year is 2005, my beard is stained white in several places, my son is 14, my girl 10, my (borrowed neighborhood) cat is named Mister Puzzlesocks, my favorite red wine of the moment is Trinchero Cabernet, my car is a white ’93 Honda with more than 238,000 miles on the speedometer, my meditation teacher’s name is Bhante Gunaratana, my street is Hazelwood Place, my guitar is a $2,000 Taylor, my name is Douglas John Imbrogno,

I no longer use my Catholic confirmation name, ‘Martin‘ (for Martin the martyr), my drug of choice, on occasion, is marijuana, my politics are liberal & iconoclast, my favorite publications are The New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, Salon and certain pages from a dozen websites, I like women’s underwear, a lot, not even necessarily on women, I am intoxicated by being in forests & woods absent any sound of civilization,

I can sit in meditation for 50 minutes pretty routinely, when I do it often enough (which I don’t), I love to drive quick on West Virginia’s curlicue roads in cars with manual transmissions, I enjoy leading guided meditations, although no longer represent myself as an Official Buddhist Explainer, as I was mangling questions better left to monks, I douse homemade macaroni & cheese with peppery salsa sauce, about once every eight weeks I smoke an Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Honduran cigar (which always riles my daughter, “You stink Daddy!”),

I wrote a song for my wife called “Stars & Planets (Laurie’s Song),” which I love to sing, but don’t know the chords to, I still feel, psychologically, like I am 32, 19, 11-years-of age, depending on the moment, I am starting just within the last three months to wear +1.50-strength eyeglasses on a cord around my neck all the time, I have a bald patch growing at the crown of my head,

I am thoroughly exasperating to my 14-year- old son, who would play computer all the time if his ‘strict’ dad & mom didn’t limit him, I am aggrieved at how testy our relations can be over this issue, casting a pall over our too-brief times together and obscuring my esteem for this young man, who is kind-hearted and something of a mystic, deep thinker,

I am thoroughly besotted with fatherly devotion & affection for my daughter, who when she is not being a bee-yatch or drama queen (and I tell her so) is a sweet princess, who wears my love like a stone in a ring on her hand, and I am forever looking forward to crawling into bed on cold nights beside my warm wife, an experience of security, comfort & ease that’s an inestimable treasure of my adult life,

and I am, finally, trying to understand and treat better this beetle-browed unfortunate, whose knotted forehead and hooded eyes look back at me from the bathroom mirror, on those days when I am not enraptured by the sound of strong wind in the branches, gold-leaf sun gilding the horizon, and deep-listening silence in the candlelight, illuminating a dozen Buddhas of all sizes upon the shelf as dawn occurs.

— Hazelwood Place, WV | 2005

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Douglas Imbrogno says:

Thank you for coming to see the mine tailings, Connie!

Errol+Hess says:

You should’ve been a poet.

Douglas Imbrogno says:

It doesn’t pay. So, I decided to be a drive-by poet.

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