What do you get when you cross a joke and a rhetorical question?
Become resolved to the fact that there is no permanence to your happy summers;
Become consoled by the fact that there is no permanence to your woes;
Come to this banal truth with equanimity
The dog who watched us take off our shoes
on the steps before the laying Buddha,
this is for you. You were at ease,
not guarding, panting from the heat, warming
your belly on Bangkok’s stones.
Our shoes in a bag, passports strapped to us,
photographing the twenty foot high
resemblance of the man who asked not to
be praised - cast in mother-of-pearl the
man who shook off possessions - I
suppose to a dog looking up,
gods and humans are the same, barefoot idols
shuffling through a hotbox corridor
looking up at another barefoot
human with an immobile face,
downy eyes and nearly a tear.
Later you found shade beneath an
archway at the end of a long
line of Buddhas, almost identical,
decreasing in age towards you.
Some ideas are so respected
they need repeating in the same
manner every year, the same sculpture
carved beside the last, an echo,
a silent chant, and you lay there
at the end, the chant becomes your
visible panting. For a moment
you look into my eyes because
you recognised my feet, because
you know you take the place of the
next structure, you know that busy
hands will build upon where you sit,
that where you go, humans follow,
as they do with gods, with shadows.
Technically speaking, there are no enlightened people; there is only enlightened activity. —Shunryu Suzuki
To drop the latch and your belongings,
to say ‘put down tomorrow’s feat,
put down the tune of yesterday,
put down what calls away your
attention from the endless breadth
of now’ - to drop the latch and slot
the key neatly in and not be reminded
of the worst sex of your life, to
look down at your shoes and not be
in a montage flashback of every
game of tennis last summer
when each stroke was a delayed rebuttal
from arguments before, the manly swipes,
the posed sliding on asphalt,
the gathering of balls found sunbathing
with the brown baking weeds,
to run a mile and feel every jolt
and not imagine a face to run from,
and not pretend there is an
amalgamated idol of petrified lovers
just past the traffic lights, to not
invent telepathy and play it like a game,
reading the negativity in the loiterers
outside the post office across the road.
To see a mirror and forget to ignore it.
To watch the face in perfect humble
clarity, to see it as a friend would,
to say okay on a daily basis to the eyes,
to see for the first time their glory-
colour, to be okay without repressing,
to drink a glass of sauvignon blanc
without accompany on a Thursday morning
because the work rota allows the luxury.
To turn the television off.
to back into the night because you must,
to back into the night so you cannot
grope your way with hands, to keep
reversing and to watch what you pass
and to only stop when necessary, and
even then not for long, and turn around
and give thanks to walls and tripwires—
in the morning, with nobody there to know,
to take off all your clothes and then
that final layer, to be devastated
by the contours of another’s, though
it may be only memory, to be distracted
by a speck of thought and start again,
to be one day older and to never age.
'the waves adorned your feet
in silent hushes’.
I wrote and I never
said. When you needed it,
when you cried for it,
I never said. I wrote.
In your loft,
our joint belongings
swelled my throat
and I didn’t say.
But I saw you looking.
Your feet descended first -
from the attic, from the attic,
your feet looked the same.
I couldn’t say,
So I wrote this.
It’s official - in eleven days I am off to Thailand, having never left Europe before in my life.
I will meditate in a Buddhist temple and I will not share my experience of it on any social media.
The working day is blue shirts and lies,
twelve last cigarettes, the balancing
of SMS from the powerful women who
know me. What are your plans later?
What are my plans? In the evening,
a globe I constructed from puzzle
pieces sits in my beggar’s hands.
One day, they will be large enough
to cage it, but not yet. It’s not time.
There is a cave-in exactly where I
next want to go. It’s okay.
What are my plans? The rest of it.
just saw comments on something that references the biblical jezebel like “what’s is that, i didn’t get that reference” and someone else said “it’s a feminist website” and they’re like “oh ok that makes sense thanks” which is all nice and well and also evidence that internet blogs are literally replacing the bible so that’s cool or whatever