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.