Monkey See

Mind-body goes the mantra.
But what of body over mind?
To will the body into suppliance is a difficult endeavor,
for it’s an unwieldily thing.
It doesn’t want to do what I tell it,
like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum, its opinion is woefully strong.
I’m hungry-I’m thirsty-I’m tired.
To deign a leg to move gracefully behind the head.
Oh, the impossibility!
And then the other.
Cross, darn feet!
Lift up!
The body’s grudge isn’t the pain of creaking hips; those open like rusty hinges.
Nor is it the fear of falling backwards; I trust that my arms will catch the floor.
It just likes to whine,
especially when I make it fly,
though at the moment when no part of me is touching the ground, I say,
“Move, now!”
And it does, an obedient dog.
Then my hands catch myself before I land,
so as to not break a toe.
Because I have heard that can happen.

Today’s Star

Who were we to each other
once upon a time,
long before we sat in this circle
on the grass talking of
sunshine and wine?
Perhaps we looked
upward to a star
named Trappist
and settled upon our drums,
striking the snares with precision
to tell the skies
we’d been here before
and would be here again,
in this place
and those to come.
Hold onto your memory,
you whose smile is strained,
eyes haunted,
for I see what you do.
This storied day
is the one that
always repeats.

The Wrong Kind of Magic


I happened upon the wrong kind of magic.

The key was lost in the movements;
a sequence designed to be impossible to master
unless you sacrifice all to become asetic, turn your dreaded hair into knots and paint your face gold.

Even then, the magic may not work.

You need many – thousands even – moving at the same time with equal bodily freedoms: twisting and folding, rising like Lazarus from backbends, walking as if crabs and pounding the ground like snakes turned to staffs.

All together. All at the same time.

Therein lie the trap, the false promise that was bestowed upon me by many teachers, a spoonful at a time, and all these years later I am still a baby in a bib eating mashed peas.

But what of this magic?

It was whispered in a dream that it opens the door to a larger question, which gives rise to a spectrum of other worlds, where chasing the answer to who I am, and why am I here has no end, only more doors.

And dare I open these doors?

I fear what is behind them, for I know the terror of the unknown, of ancient subway systems turned underground highways filled with small men in flying capsules and black eyes, where I am a stranger with my yellow hair and milk fed bones.

Neanderthals cannot navigate such a place.

Not alone.

Not with the wrong kind of magic.

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I Want to Know You

The emptiness in your eyes
disturbs me so.

I’m not sure what you’re thinking
when you stare,
smiling distantly.

Your breath cools the room,
or is that the air conditioner?

Perhaps you are depressed,
but I wouldn’t know because
I’m not psychic.

The harpsichord pecks out a tune
in my mind,
for there is no music
in this bamboo room
where we speak words
that have very little to do
with the stirrings in our souls.

But we share a common interest,
and perhaps that is enough.

If not, then there is only the count,
and the breath,
and your eyes,
which tell me nothing.

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