Thursday, July 12, 2012

[Poem] Peaks of Buddha

In the aftermath of the Poetry Parnassus in England this month and the onset of the London Olympic games, it seems like a good time to present an older poem of mine that first appeared in the Minnesota-based journal, Whistling Shade in the early 2000s

Peaks of Buddha (Originally appeared as N'est ce pas Olympus)

High in the mountains
        the air seems so thin
        poets tell me
        the movies lied

There is no wise man at the peak
        no enlightened sermons at the summit
        clad in cartoon robes
        with the fabulously poor hygiene
        reserved for only the holiest bonze

Strewn across the tourist trap
        former camps, lingering with peyote and marijuana
        bones of the shattered, snickering with
        feigned novelty and righteousness,
        a young woman's festive undergarment
        lost during a drunken search for peonies

Sage advice is best found buried
        in a sheath of scribbles
        nestled by your heart
        trust in poetry, they whisper

In a cracked mirror found in the brambles
        I barely looked human
        holding my face in my palm
        I could only wince and place it back down.

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