The Chameleon’s Dish

At Breakfast
I interrogate objects
for their hidden meanings
suspecting that everything is
a sham, though not to
the point of paranoia
I forget to eat

By Lunchtime
the objects no longer appear
as an organized effort to
accomplish existence, more
a plate tectonics masquerading
as real estate, a hint of confession
in the chaos yet not enough
to justify a declaration of suchness
I am, by now, very hungry

In Midday
my need for food is sounding
peculiar song-like drones
but there’s silence as well
like a cosigner to the deed
conspiring with a growling gut
this calling, this appetite is making
arguments that seem capricious
and I wonder if the eating
might not cause more problems
than it solves

At Dinner Bell
my stomach is a gust of craven mara
despot of my being, and I yield
ladle out some stew
sitting in the sand upwind
of the cook fire, where
all these elaborations dissolve
under waves of taste sensation
I know I must realize precisely
this, or I’ll have to get up
and do it all over again
probably, tomorrow

Come Evening
a pine branch pops
in the embers and the sparks fly
up, absorbed like nourishment
into the hungry black
belly of night

Title is from Shakespeare, Hamlet III.2 :

CLAUDIUS
How fares our cousin Hamlet?

HAMLET
Excellent, i’ faith, of the chameleon’s dish. I eat the air,
promise-crammed. You cannot feed capons so.

Alternate title: A Day in the Life of a Neophyte Yogin

Exquisite

A refinement of the tastes is a projection of superiority orchestrated by the ego. Its cost/benefit boils down to a reduction in opportunities to experience sensory pleasure of the many things beneath one’s high standards vs the enhanced enjoyment of pride.

This axiom is countered by the argument that quality is an actual phenomenon, that some things really are better than others. But qualities are themselves projections of the mind, which in human beings tends to be dominated by the ego.

[slops a dab of gruel into a crude bowl]

Now eat your breakfast and quit complaining.

White Wing

I’ve always a weak attachment to food
In the kitchen I’m an interloper, mending fences
A field hand to the duties of my own appetite

But here I am, bare feet on the linoleum
Rudimentary gut signals begging for nourishment
Appear to me as cravings for salt, or sugar

And I keep feeding this fount of desires
Rolling up some scrambled eggs in tortillas
While outside, a white-winged dove coos:

Who? Who? Who cooks for you?

Rustlers

I wonder what it is
that the biosphere intends
when this happens: twins

then I realize
as I butter my toast
that nature, motherly, stern
she intends nothing at all
at most

no agenda, but
churn and do, and redo
with a twist and like
the chop and pan-rattle
of us rustlers in the kitchen

she’s up and at’em
before a morning thought
can get his shoes on