Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

shrugs and a funeral

One of my favorite Zen koans is, "Who was Buddha's teacher?" You don't need a spiritual parent to tell you that contentment is elusive and fleeting, that every thing and every place you treasure is in the process of being transformed into something unrecognizable, and that every love affair, killer startup idea and Facebook thread eventually ends with shrugs and a funeral. Yet watching those who go before you brings benefit. Even I was a little shocked when I learned that Ginsberg, the paterfamilias of the counterculture, the Uncle Sam of the real America, had been going to Al-Anon meetings to learn how to cope with the multiple addictions of his life partner, Peter Orlovsky. There, too, he was showing us where to go when, in our turn, we were desperate for help.

Ginsberg's Failure, a picture of the poet past his best known years as he advanced into quotidian concerns & old age, at Longshot Magazine.