She is drunk as the moon

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

It is nei­ther the flag that moves, nor the wind that moves. It is your mind that moves.

Zen Koan

she is drunk as the moon
shining above her arms bracket
face she is wayward 
with some beat some hit
forgotten forgot to pull up and
pull down her too small tube
dress breast ass right on that
line drive to lizard hindbrain
the crowd slows surround conversation
strays away to gaze and she knows
they watch her

        (don't watch her!
         watch them
         watch her)

men stare and women
glare here and there a squint
or licked lip a thumb running
down the sweat of glass
fingers press to table
cigarette pull and arched eyebrow
it is not silent but would be
but for that beat that hook
she the bait they 
want to take

and so when the night died
and nobody told us
and when we weren't looking
                        the moon
stumbled behind some buildings to 
                        sleep it off
                        observed the measure
                                      of our desire

Hui Neng — The Mind That Moves

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Hui Neng was an il­lit­er­ate peas­ant who had ex­pe­ri­enced a sud­den awak­en­ing up­on hear­ing the Lotus Sutra re­cit­ed aloud, and went to join the monastery of the Fifth Patriarch of Zen. The Patriarch rec­og­nized that Hui Neng was in the process of awak­en­ing, but rather than open­ly ac­knowl­edge this he as­signed him to care for the pigs on the out­skirts of the monastery to pro­tect him from the aca­d­e­m­ic and spir­i­tu­al cor­rup­tions of the oth­er monks.

However, one day as Hui Neng was go­ing about his work he heard two monks near­by en­gag­ing in a clas­sic ar­gu­ment about spir­i­tu­al re­al­i­ty. They were watch­ing the large monastery flag wav­ing in the wind, and one monk was ar­gu­ing that it was the flag that was mov­ing, while the oth­er ar­gued that it was the wind that was mov­ing. These two ar­gu­ments cor­re­spond to clas­sic spir­i­tu­al view­points about the na­ture of re­al­i­ty, and while lis­ten­ing to the learned monks ar­gue, Hui Neng could not hold back. He in­ter­rupt­ed them and told them, “It is nei­ther the flag that moves, nor the wind that moves. It is your mind that moves”.

The two monks were si­lenced, and Hui Neng went about his work tend­ing to the pigs.