Carol Moldaw

Mindfulness Training in La Jolla
February 25, 2022 Moldaw Carol

Mindfulness Training in La Jolla


That summer of Pokémon-go,
from our sublet condo
to the seaside promenade,
the phone of every third person
held out like a Geiger counter,
a prospector’s dowsing stick—
the phone like a dog on a leash
yanking its owner for a sniff.
One out of three, me at times,
zombie-walking the sunset,
letting the day and its unsolved
clinical complications dissolve,
no second-guessing our progress,
except through the Pokédex.

One session, asked to stand
with eyes closed the length
of time we think a minute takes,
the circle of parents and teens
is half-game, half-compliant. Lost
in non-thought, I’m last to sit.
Another day, our group gets split.
One division forms a gauntlet
the other single-files through,
while those pressing in pelt those
afoot with harsh words
of self-recrimination, as bad as
the worst non-stop bombardment
anyone hears in their head,
so we all know what it’s like.

Evenings, I streamed True Blood
and tried not to brood too much
or ask questions too hard for us.
At night car lights lasered through
the crack in the velvet curtains
while the streetlights winked
and shimmied as patrons cast out
from the Tiki Lounge tether-balled
the lamp posts, the noise careening
right at us before fading away.
Some early a.m.s., a woman alone
in the street howled and raged,
moaned and keened. A bug on its back,
I writhed in the loosened sheets.

Carol Moldaw’s 7th book of poems, Go Figure, will be published by Four Way Books in 2024. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Photo credit: Don Usner