The Practitioners’ Quandary
On the cusp of a new year, December 2023, we present this 8th issue of bDharma.
The poem “The Basis” reaches its conclusion by taking three giant steps per line. The conclusion is heady. The repetition at the end reveals that the author’s conviction lies more upon herself than her dharma brothers and sisters. Then S. E. Savage takes over and reveals the real truth.
It takes 9 articles to make an issue. I was at 5 articles — there’s lots of poetry, so that’s one, and David T. is generous enough to give us his thoughts on gardening each issue. So that’s two and I had written three, so I was at 5 articles when I thought to myself, I can’t wait to see this issue.
We have 15 freaking poems. So many good poems. Introducing Michael Roche, a black and white photographer from Fredericksburg, TX. https://www.michaelrochephotography.com/
I hope someone at least is offended by my article on CTR and SMR. We must be able to talk to each other about these things.
7th Issue – May 21, 2023
This issue highlights the anthology Weird Luck, which features 10 sangha authors exercising their writerly voices. I’m excited to bring this anthology to everyone’s attention, because it includes terrifically entertaining writing in a wide range of genres and styles. Don’t miss Melissa Robinson’s tale of a young woman taking the train to her cousins’ house, or Maddy Radish’s evocative novella of sex and death.
Also introducing, in this issue, the fiction writer Chris Wang, a friend of mine from the Longmont Library Writer’s Group. His story A Once Great Tribe seems to pull details straight from the ether. I hope you enjoy it.
Here we are December 31st, 2022.
This, the 6th issue, marks a milestone for bDharma, in that two articles came to us more or less unsolicited. Robert Walker was posting on fb and invited people to write him for further details. The resulting statement of political ideology stands as a writ of resistance and independence. Dave Garton’s contemplations on recovery vis a vis the dharma describes outcomes of meditation in such down-to-earth and sincere language it does my heart proud.
And we’re featuring Gary Allen in an interview, review, and excerpts in acknowledgement of his new book, Transmigration Suite. Gary is one hard-working artist. He confesses in the interview to having “worked through” a PhD thesis about H. D. ‘s Helen in Egypt. That’s dedication. So, here’s to Gary, and our regular roster of poets, Frank Ryan and Tom Path. To paraphrase Ezra Pound, all honor to the makers of beauty, all of it.
I feel super proud of this July 2022 issue. Not a given. We have several practiced writers this time — Lainie Logan, Katharine Kaufman, Heather Campbell Grimes, and the poets Tom Pathe, Wendell Beavers (though he denies it), and Frank Ryan. And our regular department editors, Maddy Radish, Camillya Madigan and our new editor Posthumous Molly.
This Winter 2022 issue finds me reflecting on what this is, what we would call it, where it’s going, what it means. Like I was in an ambiguous relationship with it or something.
This magazine, I call it, was first conceived as a dharma Good Housekeeping or Ladies Home Journal. Full of helpful information immediately relevant to everyday life, like love advice and manners, with a dose of art and some straight up dharma articles sewn together with it.
It was founded on the premise that my friends and I are brilliant, funny, at least somewhat realized, and full of ideas and wisdom to share with the world. What I didn’t count on was that most of them are also inordinately shy about writing. None of them think of themselves as writers, with a few, very notable exceptions.
So this issue includes a reflection on the merits of writing, to clarify your mind and release yourself from knotty problems, beneath a plea for submissions.
Thanks for reading, dear readers, and do drop a line or 50,000.
This fall 2021 issue is full of spiritual and cultural pith, wisdom, and celebration. May you be drunk with spiritual blessings.