He was never one to go searching.
It took up too much time.
It certainly took far more effort
than the results usually warranted.
And there wasn’t anything in particular
he wanted to go in search of.
She said she was searching for ecstasy.
He said he could buy it downtown,
but it had grown rather pricey.
She said she meant that state of being,
that state of spiritual perfection.
He said you couldn’t buy that downtown,
though there were a couple of pastors
in the suburbs who claimed to be able,
for a proper donation, to provide it.
She said she couldn’t pay for what
was promised in the Bible,
she would simply search and wait.
She had faith.
He said he had searched
for faith once, and failed.
That, he said, was when
he gave up searching for things.
YAKUSAN HOLDS IT 鐵笛倒吹 十
Sit just above
the peak of the highest mountain
and reach up with open fingers,
what will you grasp?
Walk slowly across
the floor of the deepest sea,
what do you see below you?
If you have
is any one
than the others?
JOSHU COVERS HIS HEAD 鐵笛倒吹 十一
When you enter a room
and sit with your teacher
what is it you expect?
He will not follow your breath
nor should you count his,
simply cover your head
He will offer nothing
and that is
I came down out of these mountains
once, emerged from clouds that built,
blackened the sky, bleached
and were gone, I slid on snow pack,
I came down into the sage and piñon,
lit my fires and purified myself.
I ran with jackrabbits, imagined
bears were coyote, coyotes cats
that might curl in sleep
around my feet. I dug
for water, turned parched ground
to straw with prayer and dream,
baled my dreams and straw
and stacked them neatly,
plastered them over and huddled
within, I ran wires to the mountain gods
and drew their power, I stole the light
of a thousand stars, darkened the moon
and now I am chindi, rejected by
my spirit kin, left to wander the mesa.
Look behind the number, past
the curtain that shields
from your eyes its magic – it is
there the singularity of life sheds
its clothes, and what
you grasp so tightly
is no more than the idea
of dawn, the concept of death.
You must dig the grave
to that certain depth so that
should he ever arise, he may
touch his head on the dew-
washed carpet that hides the sky.
Days in a week, denominator
of pi fractioned, I count
the Omer, seven times seven times
until the idea of a rest day
is as odd as the concept of night.
In alignment, numbers claim
kinship, six and six and six
devils stand aside and applaud
as sevens walk from the cliff
still waiting for the Word.
Your trinity is a unity
and infinity is divisible
only by zero and faith.
A foolish man sits at the edge
of the pond, his feet
perfectly still in the water.
He stares into the mirrored surface
and sees a fool, smiles
as a ginkgo leaf floats
like a sail on a morning breeze
onto the pool, ripples
radiate out, touching his toes
and he smiles, and the fool
lying beneath smiles.
A foolish man stands
in the road, staring
into the pavement, transfixed.
He stares into the silvered sheen
left by a morning rain
and sees a man of substance
in fine clothes, and man servants
awaiting a command,
and he smiles, and walks on
with the man of substance
on a road with no end
you should try
I have tried
and even a bit of EST.
was better than
most of the drugs
she remembered using.
took far less practice
if you could stand
the inevitable hangover.
like giving birth
that it was more
like an orgasm
that would last
a weird projection.
would have to be
He stopped believing in time. It served no purpose for him, other than allowing others to chastise him for being late. He knew he operated under the laws of gravity, it was a burden he accepted, if begrudgingly. He understood his limitations, tested their margins, but allowed that he had finite power over them. But time was something different. Intangible, evanescent, yet omnipresent. It weighed on him, held him in its grasp. But why life should be parsed and and meted out by a third rate star and planets orbiting it was beyond him. The moment he stopped believing in time, the moment he denied its very existence, the clock in the town square stopped speaking to him, and the silence was welcomed. There was no history, no yesterday impinging on now, no tomorrow distracting him. Finally, he could breathe freely. Suddenly certain he was immortal, and life began to deeply matter.
He says, “You know it is long
past time to stop blaming the poor snake,
it wasn’t his fault, and when you stop
and think about it, he told no lies.
And what makes you think that he
had any idea of the consequences
of the offer, would you admit snakes
are as sentient as we are?”
She says, “I don’t disagree with you,
the snake should never have been blamed,
the real blame goes to the apple.
It was the source of all of the trouble,
and was it cursed and abused through history?
No, quite the contrary, it is honored,
recommended to avoid illness.”
He says, “But blaming the apple
is silly, it’s a piece of fruit,
nothing more, and was just present.”
She says, We both know you’d
like to blame Eve, it is the woman
you think was the cause of eviction,
but you dare not say it. For
with me present, you know
I would point out that such would be
an admission that women are
smarter than men! Now eat your apple.
The universe is both
measurable only in metaphor –
and so infinitesimally small,
it is an idea
that would fit
in the corner
of a grain of sand.
As you walk the beach
between your toes
and kick them
into the tide
of the cosmos.