FROM THE BEGINNING

Pangu* came by for a visit the other night. He tends to drop by uninvited.
“Hate to call ahead,” he says, “it ruins the surprise.” He’s aged a bit
since the last visit, and I told him he looked different.

“It’s just a look. It’s the same old me, but I tend to scare people. So I’m
traveling under the name of Adam now,” and showed me a drivers license
to confirm it.

I asked what he was doing for a last name, how he got the license without one.

“They tried to force it,” he said, “but when I told them you get that from your
father, and I had none, they let it go.” He headed for the door.

I told him to take care of himself because we both knew that when he dies, a new
universe will be born and it’s crowded enough around here already.


* Pangu  is the first living being and the creator of all in Chinese mythology.

I will, or may
see something today
that may surprise me.
It may reveal itself
in aquiet moment,
it may be nothing more
than a fleeting thought
or an image, I am certain.
It won’t be brought by Magi
nor even magic, though
on reflection, it may
seem somehow magical.
I suspect
most will miss
its occurrence.

So I will sit
and stare into the wall,
into my heart,
into the universe,
trying to find
something which
is nothing, which
is the center,
which is everything.

CASSIOPEIA

You sit on your self-hewn throne
and stare fixedly at the night sky
as the clouds gather
and dissipate beneath you.

Do you even recall
why you were cast out
condemned to your cell so vast
and yet infinitely confining?

Does your body remember
the touch of his hand
the crude hunter
who set you aflame

with a white heat
that paled the oven of summer?
What do you imagine
as the tongues of the Persiads

lick across the sky
and disappear into the
ebony holes that lurk
in the corners and behind your eyes.

You move slowly across my world
and only the dawn brings you peace.

IF EINSTEIN WAS

If Einstein was correct
relatively speaking,
the arrow of time,
rusted in place, indomitable,
can be freed, torn
from its mooring
and set adrift
defying its natural
inclination.  

                        As the lights
of Seoul were engulfed
by a blanket of clouds
which in turn ebbed,
revealing a universe
spread out, and I settled
slowly into sleep,
Thursday faded into
dreams.

                    First sun sliced
through the interstices
of the shades as fog dissipated
from San Francisco Bay.
Like Jonah, having
atoned, I crawled
from the belly
of a great beast,
metallic Sheol, and stepped
into a Ninevah of glass
and steel, rubbing
eyes, rejecting day.
Stumbling the corridors
and down a ramp
I slid into my seat.
As gravity was again
defied, Thursday
unfolded, inviting but
having learned nothing
I faded into dreams.

PACIFYING THE MIND OF THE SECOND PATRIARCH

Sitting on the cushion
staring at the wall yet again,
the wall seems familiar, as if you
should know it, the paint, the fleck
of something embedded in the paint.
Still you search for something beyond
the wall, hidden by the paint,
but you find nothing, always nothing.
Does this nothing finding frustrate you?
Are you certain there is something
there to be found, eluding you?
Be like Huike, for if you cannot
see the wall, cannot find the paint,
the universe that lies behind it
will be exposed to your view.
Simply close your eyes and see it.


A reflection on Case 1 of the Shumon Kattoshu

FOR RENE

What is inconceivable about the universe
is that it should be at all conceivable.
— A. Einstein

Cogito

dice clatter
against
a corner
of the universe,
rolling the bones
of a thousand
generations

ergo

one slides
into the black hole
void
a loser
next
player
to the line

sum

boxcars
stacked as cordwood
the snake
stares
at a half
eaten apple
hooded eyes
close

Hawking

presses keys
indicating
chuckling