Thursday, April 11, 2013

Anti-koan




Tamalpais




 Anti-koan




"Does a dog have Buddha nature?" he asked me.
 "Ask the cat." I said.

I went walking where the red sunset
was an understatement unshelling
behind the fog and rain, where wind
turned hearts and umbrellas out,
where working girls and
insurance agents were indistinguishable,
past the murmuring parkbench beds, made up in
newspapers sprouting disconsolate beards, eyes sunset red,
kicks drowned behind apricot shadows.

 I was still free in the California wine
of air and sea, and the chains to come
could only speak as prophets speak, annoyingly,
Marley's rattling unheard. I climbed the streets
in meadow disguise, up Mt. Tamalpais and back
breathing heat, soaked in birdsong, inhaling a world
untroubled by buddha or his nature, a
perfect thing in my ignorance, content to be filled
with wide emptiness.

"Love is a condition of distance," I said.
"Night sings a lonely death," he replied.
"By the streams of the moon..."

"I know, I know--
...but not yet."


~April 2013


posted for    real toads
Challenge: Destinations and Dialogue
The irrepressible Corey Rowley asks us to write of place, and include some dialogue. The italicized lines at the end of this piece are borrowed from a poem written by my first husband. (Thanks, Lurp, wherever you are.)



 Process Notes: Marley = Marley's ghost from Dickens' Christmas Carol, not Bob Marley. (Because, there's a considerable difference.)




Hover mouse for image attribution, or click on pic to go to photographer's flick'r page.



16 comments:

  1. I was still free in the California wine
    of air and sea

    perfection, that. And the italicized words are quite intriguing. This speaks of youth inhaling innocence and joy, walking past not always comprehending the roadsigns that hint at the future...

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  2. "Does a dog have Buddha nature?" he asked me.

    "Ask the cat." I said.

    This is essential!
    and opens it all up in an instant

    and this is simply excellent PO

    I went walking where the red sunset

    was an understatement unshelling

    behind the fog and rain,

    the kind that makes me nod, rub my beard and align with my sign . . . knowingly . . .

    the final exchange
    together with your end notes
    mean more nodding and knowing

    and an exit sense of peace


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  3. The encapsulating dialogue is so genius....damn. This had the feel of walking in San Francisco to me. Whenever I am there, the conditon of the city and people seem uniform, the possiblity of feeling or doing something great seems endless. It seems a place to grab hold now because that distance will soon fill your cup with trumped up memories because the heart has a way making art out of the everyday when its not barking directly into our faces. Great job Joy, thanks for coming by, its great to see you!

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  4. I love the beginning dialogue! As always your descriptions are incredible.

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  5. that opening gambit reminds me of a kerouac poem...ha i like it...content to be filled with wide emptiness...ha...like that too...the exchange at the end is really cool too...

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  6. I love the start especially,it's all brilliant though. glad you stipulatedabout Marley

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  7. "Ask the cat." Oh, hell. That's just brilliant.

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  8. I am running out of adjectives today. To describe the amazing work I have been reading.... I have to repeat small words that cover a huge feeling,,,this is a wonderful dialogue, a beautiful description,,so well written,,,I enjoyed it very much,,, "love is a condition of distance",,, indeed.

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  9. Love on the slope of Mount Tam. Long ago and far away.
    Oh, I know, I know...
    K

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  10. Bitter-sweet, like wine, like life, like the dying moon.

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  11. Everything is nothing is everything. Depending, of course, on what the cat says.

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  12. ... 'a perfect thing in my ignorance' ~ and it is bliss. Your poem.
    (PS First hub sounds kind of neat?)

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  13. uh oh if they don't even hear Marley's chains rattling... gonna be some trouble.

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  14. past the murmuring parkbench beds, made up in
    newspapers sprouting disconsolate beards, eyes sunset red,

    I chose this as a superb piece of description, but I could as easily have chosen any other couplet. Magnificent in every line.

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  15. I was still free in the California wine of air and sea...beautiful line among many.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg