the follower
Wanderer, is it your footsteps I follow?
Your faint impressions lay before me
Firm. Determined. Distant.
I admire your direction. Where are you headed?
Wanderer, was this your fire I now rekindle?
You placed it with such care, sheltered here beneath the sycamores,
Ah... It feels so warm...
I'm comforted, knowing you once sat here.

Wanderer, was it you who left those sculptures in the sand?
You must have just been here, did I miss you?
The tides will soon erase any memory of you from this place.
An eroding Monument to what? Will you tell me?

Wanderer, is that you I hear, in the clearing just ahead?
I've followed you through forests, and mountains, and deserts and coastlines.
I've followed you through raging storm and clear moonlight
I've followed you through fear and despair and love and joy
Will I finally get to meet you?

Wanderer, did you build this Temple?
It's beautiful...
How long must you have worked?
Were you lonely?

Did you bring these tears to my eyes, too?
I can sense you here, in this Temple.
Are you beside me?

Will you stay...




Oh, wanderer...

Thank you
When will it hit?
That glorious reality, that horrifying truth
Dzogchen, Brahman, Truth, Territory

Will it be me?
Alone? A deer in the headlights of reality
Will I have time for a last whispering thought?
What will it be?
"Will you remember me?"
Or will truth take me in a moment, before I realize
Will I still be in Maya at the end?

Most likely it won't be me
Most likely it will be my love
Similarly alone, similarly a deer in the headlights
I will be helpless before Truth, awoken into Brahman
Will I have time for a final smile? For shared tears?
Or will she be lost in a moment, before I realize
Will I still be in Maya at the end?

How horrifying will be my return to Truth?
How lost will I be when my map is burnt?
Left only with territory I had painted over, in love
This isn't fun
This isn't an adventure
I complain, I cry, I scream, I yell, I tantrum
My righteous anger will be my first escape
But certainly not the last

Eventually, I will search for hope, that familiar portal
A comfortable escape back into Maya
I will hope again, and tell myself I ought to hope
I will forget how I lost everything
I will smile and mean it
Oh, but how could I mean it
Unless I was deluded
A poem in two parts
Or rather
Two poems, told together

---- Lost ----
How long has it been now?
I've been drowning
A god in boiling water

In the company of countless sirens, I am comfortable
I collect myself for--
I'm being called
The attention feels good

I glance down by default
Distracted, I lose myself again
Surely I can recollect myself tomorrow

How did I get here?

My wife is here
I go to her often,
for she is beautiful
In her calls, I find comfort

My friends are here
I see them frequently
for they are funny
In their calls, I find comfort

My work is here
I immerse myself in it
for it is something to do

The news is here
My books are here
My podcasts and socials
and group chats are here
My phone and Netflix and my phone again...
In their calls, I find doom.

I accept the warm embrace of one Siren
As I think of kissing another
Disgusted, I beckon for more
Are they calling me, or am I calling them?

I expose my flesh to them
and they reciprocate
I search for myself in their skin
Is this what it feels like to be me?

I lose myself
Wait, wasn't I already lost?
I smother the thought
and lose myself again

I bury myself under 10 million pounds of water
And the increasingly surreal song of 100 sirens
I struggle to search for some semblance of self
But stop, for I can't stand to start
Scared of success

Where am I?
Where am I?
Where am I?

My vision fades
My eardrums burst
I'm weightless


How long has it been?

The loneliness grasps me...
I take in my loneliness

And I sob

------ Found ------

At the bottom of the ocean
In the deepest loneliness
I'm reunited with myself

"Were you here this whole time?"
I ask
"I thought you would come looking, so I waited"
I respond

"I thought you hated me, after I failed us..."
"I thought you hated me, after I blew up on you"
"I don't hate you anymore"

I embrace myself
And in my embrace I see God
Unashamed, I make love

I look up and the ocean is clear
Through the glassy water
The moon shines on me
I gaze past the stars

I reach out to them, and the ocean parts
I kick off the sand and soar upwards
My sirens return to me, now angels
Reunited, we ascend ever higher

At some point we began chanting
Maybe we always had been
Those below join us, drawn to our glorious chorus

As our numbers grow, our ascent accelerates
We spread our wings and open our eyes
We bathe in the transcendent glow of millions of souls

Passing the moon, we look down on our Earth
Beautiful, precious, she gleams in space
She calls to us, and we shed a tear for her
But our calling lies elsewhere now
I am a machine that takes love and returns cuddles
I am a machine that takes love and returns software
I am a machine that takes love and returns prestige
I am a machine that takes love and returns institutions
I am a machine that takes love and returns family

I am a machine that takes love and returns:
- 39 repos
- 3384 code contributions
- 3333 tweets
- 42 poems
- 22 published essays
- 100s of unpublished essays
- 1 research project on Scenius
- 3 board games
- 6 moleskins of ideas
- 2 co-living houses
- 6 community orgs
- 51 dinner parties
- 1 startup
- 3 years of useful adult labor
- 3 broken hearts
- 100s of relationships
a request
I want to live through a golden age
I want to hear the birds sing sunrise lullabies
Of the not-so stiff dancing of freshly rumpled suits,
Of moonlit rituals stoking bonfire-lit flesh,
Of godly computer code motivating humanly robots,
Of raucous banquets to celebrate the Crusonia harvest

I worry we won't build a golden age,
The songbirds are pigeons, gluttonous, gray, and growing exponentially,
They sing of growth and denial in placating melodies,
Of some-days and eventuallys and well-actuallys,
Of cryptographic scarcity and proof-of-ownership of pictures of Crusonia trees,
Of concrete and asphalt and trash that feeds the rats and roaches
and homeless who can barely crawl

Even as the birth rates fall and all we have to lose is nigh,
Even as depression's high, we try we try we try to hide,
We hide behind our charts and graphs and measured rise in the count of laughs,
But those are just cheap reacts
to Facebook memes, they don't relax
Our spirit which is bound to die
if we don't believe our children's lives
will live up to what our grandparents had,
despite THEIR graphs looking really bad.

So help me build a golden age,
We can keep our graphs and charts and books,
If only we store them in a little nook,
When the time comes to dance among our friends,
To laugh and sing and kiss again,
Let's gather close and stoke the fire,
Let's dangle dangerously out on the wire,
Let's whisper, just this once, our souls desire,
Let's hoot and holler and scream and shout,
Let's cuddle with strangers on the couch,
Let's trust and love until we doubt,
Just why we thought these things were mutually exclusive...

Please, let's build a golden age,
The songbirds will spin helixed tales,
Of chrome progress and mosaic dreams fulfilled,
Of an end to the twin wars on life and culture,
Of energy and spirit too cheap to meter,
Of the not-so stiff dancing of freshly rumpled suits,
Of moonlit rituals stoking bonfire-lit flesh,
Of godly computer code motivating humanly robots,
Of raucous banquets to celebrate the Crusonia harvest,
Of a future where all can find meaningful work and meaningful play,
Of a proper, difficult, top-down, bottom-up, scientifically verifiable, spiritually enlightened
Golden Age
Writing haiku is
Spontaneous creation
An absurd process

To be a haiku
Confined completely to form
Crystalline water

How to write haiku
Avoid stressing the question
Let the river flow
There will be bonfire rituals,
And starry night sauna cycling,
Sunrise vibrations and calm meditation,
There will be free style rapping,
And a culture of clapping,
And tracking local fauna deep in the woods,

There will be wise mentors and kind tutors,
We'll rise as a tribe to study the arts and sciences,
We'll be leaders of industry and engineers of progress,
We'll apply our minds to meaningful work,
working a real difference in real human life,
We'll forget about our digital life for just a few hours each day,
The Atlassian burden of keeping up with the world lifted for more than mere moments

Can you feel it? The malaise. The hopelessness.
With the children prancing in the commons,
I'd almost forgotten how I felt before I came here,
Lost. Alone. Anxious. Ambitious. Wanting.

Nobody told me what it means to be human,
I was expected to figure it out on my own,
But how could I come up with answers alone,
When being a human means searching for home,
How could I know?
Being human means reliance on tribe,
But I'd learned all my life to fend for myself,
Asking for help? I might as well die,
It means I wouldn't survive, if push came to shove,

But now I know... I know that asking for hugs,
And dancing on rugs and getting tugged along
By your friends is divine. It's a meaningful life.
I'd lived in the dark for so long I could die,
I've proved I can survive on my own...
But if push came to shove,
If push came to shove,
I'd rather build a tribe which will thrive,
And cultivate all the above.
Utopia, Utopia
Oh my longed for Utopia
They say it can't exist
No duh
You can't just build Utopia

For when Utopia begins to fail
We point and label and critiques prevail
We call failed Utopias "cults"
And stop asking what their failure was about

And when Utopia begins to succeed
It no longer becomes a label we need
We won, our dreams turned into creation
We call them cities and civilization
bored apes
We're monkeys with tools
Don't pretend to forget
Don't wrestle and struggle
And work up a sweat

We're monkeys with tools
We're silly as can be
We suppress hollers and hoots
And put shoes on our feet

We're monkeys with tools
But of course that's not all
We invent and we teach
And we build cities for all

But don't forget your desire
To swing from the trees
We're monkeys with tools
We have instinctual needs
We need a new brand of insurance
Allowing friend groups to take risks
To rely on each other, build something together,
And if they fail it isn't the pits

If you find yourself with too much money
Consider funding great friends,
It wouldn't take much, just insurance is enough,
To spark communally meaningful ends
Remote work, remote work
What a curse, what a miracle,
The opportunity to congregate in community,
Or sink listlessly into enmity, endlessly lonely,

What a blessing to work remote-il-il-y,
To watch the sun gleam through the trees
As you lean from your porch
You laugh and you think and you work like a horse

But, of course! I forgot. What a curse, indeed.
Remote work leaves you without your whole team,
Alone in the woods, or worse, in your house
You feel smaller and shorter until you're a mouse

Though, my dears, don't you see
This game can be rigged
If you figure it out, the game can be won
You can live with your friends and your work can be fun
All it requires is trial and error, a good bit of Grit, and maybe some risk

Be brisk, go ahead, give it a shot
No matter what, I'm sure you'll be pleased
And if you don't think you can see what I see,
At least take a chance and reach out to me!
Friend, will you meet me in the consilience?
Will you lift anchor, and drop sail?
Will you let the winds carry us to new beginnings?

On the fourth day, we embark
Don't you know that only lost things can be found?
We drift with no captain, alone.

Are you as scared as I am?
Wait, don't answer that
I'm not prepared to know

Sister, will you meet us in the consilience?
Will you greet us when we arrive?
Will you tell stories of our voyage?

I wonder... when did the waters get so rough?
We whip by the wreckage of another ship
I worry, were they with us?

I spot an isolated island, alone, uncharted
Is this far enough? I doubt myself.
No, we continue on in search of consilience

Friends, Family, journey with me.
I'm sure we will find each other out there

Don't look so fearful
Take a leap of faith

Meet me in the consilience