The Tao is None of Your Business

Every moment is bundled
with a multitude of beginnings
and endings and we feel we’re right
in the middle of it.

But this locale, this fixation
is penciled in with a wink
and cannot be held, numbered
ordered, kept or used.

Gathered up, possessions
summon the negations, come
then clap, the knowns disperse
like startled pigeons.

Who can make way in all of this
without faith or handholds
when enlightenment is the activity
of no one in particular?

A tricky business
this name-dropping the Buddha.

Chit for Chat

breaking up the ice for the
lack of warmth to melt it, float
a smile, sample the kool-aid

can we ever say anything
that finds its mark, or hear anything
that doesn’t confirm a conceit?

icebergs have their own momentum
parts unseen, underneath

we mobbed the place
in formations, like teeth
crowding into a mouth, behind lips
pressed together in a hum
a lullaby, in the face of it

I can count on the fingers
of two-and-a-half thousand hands
the deflections all the many mouths
have muttered, the reasons for
not seeing what no one
wanted to see

the impossible thing
in plain view

And the elder gods looked down upon us
and all that we had done, and with grave countenance
called upon the Faerie Oracle for guidance, and came she
into the hall, emerged she from her trance, fixed them
all with a haggard and frightening grimace, and
proclaimed she, “send Greta!”

Bell Strike

You don’t get to keep anything
Outside of these temporary configurations

The coil is always the coil, it’s the
Dispositions, born mortal, that shuffle off

We are bell-strikes with ears, clinging
To our own sound

Soothed in this melodious gestalt, let’s
Stay, just a while longer

Dreaming the Jitterbug

My leg is asleep
and dreaming the jitterbug
and once it wakes up
I’ll be able to walk around
like a person with places to go

And my leg will fondly
recall its dream, and put
a little kick in my happy step
and it will all be good, unless
I think about it too much

Confidence Game

An ice cream truck on a neighborhood street
jingles a malign rendition of the The Sting
its notes warped, tempo ill-kept

The future is out for delivery, youngsters
clamor for ice cream sandwiches and evening books
lodging for the night, rises from its sleep

There’s something of the grifter in time’s passing
the done light signals a message, with a
surreptitious touch to the side of its nose

And things will go wrong for someone, somewhere
at some point, but they savvy buy into it
craft a destiny in relief, a slant reckoning

Even though time is there, in the shadows
selecting a point between past and future, for fate
to pull a fast one on some gullible bit of luck