Tuesday, May 22, 2007

a poem by steve shavel

vimalakirti

what is the time beyond measure
when we are always in the same place?

I am pissing, lavishly,
into an ox's hoofprint,
never ceasing.
All day
the irridescent flies
wind around the lime tree
graze my reverie.
Silkworms
strip the mulberry
of her raiment
devouring, devouring.
A gentle frass
rains down.

If I were a bluefly, say,
or an angel
I'd rush into your ear
and so be heard.

Instead I find
I'm rooted to the spot
to this one ---- how to
put it --- unconfutable
way of life.

Every instant a "lion"
seizes on a hide
the color of a gazelle slipping away.
That very instant
the lion perishes
foundering into its own fury
--- the inarticulate core of roar ---
and trailing a white mane of oblivion.

Every instant
through fist-sized bundles of fiber optics
a million words disperse,
meant and unmeant, or strewn
like loosed beads.

Meantime here am I
attempting the "unconfutable,"
threading what might seem to be
an extreme path between two middles:

one, relentlessly half-assed ---
the yet-unspent
radio isotope
loitering before eternity ---
the other,
half-assedly relentless
rooted to non-abiding,
the way a wave mauls the shore.
Nevertheless here I remain
just pissing in the abyss,
nothing left to say
and still saying it nevertheless.

Why this must be
the genius of ingenuousness!
Such indeed

is the "incomprehensible" example
of the bodhisattva Vimalakirti
couched in the discourse
of a willed illness, suffering
the birthlessness of all things ---

dissembler, disabuser,
expounder of a thundering
silence, the well
within the well ---

hierophant, prestidigitator!
who might palm an entire sederunt ---
arphants and bodhisattvas both,
reclining on lion-thrones yet ---
or fit Mount Sumeru into a mustard
seed.

Somewhere,
at the very limen
of awareness, semis
are pounding down a highway
sounding as if they
really had somewhere
to get to.

You slink by and I
eye you and you eye
me and I wish I were
made out of stone. So
still I dumbfounder there
like some stupid marble cupid, with
the billion-world galaxies
streaming down,
and the hoofprint,
never filled!

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