We Call the Neighbor’s Fat Burro Donkey Hotei, but His Name is Cantinflas


We Call the Neighbor’s Fat Burro Donkey Hotei, but His Name is Cantinflas

Certainty grows in corners, away from light.
From his mouth issues the breath we take, the words we keep.

Enjoy the collusion of shape and sound.
We share the hummingbird’s taste for sweet, but not its fierceness.

Its heart beats 1,200 times a minute,
and you ask me how best to bury money.

Hotei’s name means cloth sack, and comes from the bag he carried;
a man of loving character, he possessed the Buddha nature.

What we own cannot be held.
Most plastics are organic polymers with spine-linked repeat units.

The space you’ve left expands exponentially.
Left in the rain, the bell grows.

Christen me at your own peril. Agaves flower once then die.
Fluency in silence.

I dropped my pants when the scorpion stung my thigh.
The wind takes nothing it does not want.

After vulcanization, thermosets remain solid.
The Cantinflas character was famous for his eloquent nonsense.

Vacuum wrap the bills in plastic, place them in pvc.
Having mastered imperfection, I turn to folly.

Not the thing itself, but the process laid bare and opened.
Hoping to hide, the scorpion scuttled under a boot.

Thought to action, whisper to knife: which is not a curse?
The wind wants nothing; the burro sings his loneliness.


This first appeared here in May 2015. My failures often lead to success. I’ve never quite completed this piece, and don’t know that I ever will. But the first draft (nearly five years ago) set me off on a new path, one that has served me well. What more can I ask?

51 thoughts on “We Call the Neighbor’s Fat Burro Donkey Hotei, but His Name is Cantinflas

  1. Speaking of folly, I am preparing to do my taxes. Also I must confess that the little prescription user fee chits DO go in a Ziplock bag. And some “unfinished” things like this piece are very worthy of publication. Glad you took this very fertile one out of the bag.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “We Call the Neighbor’s Fat Burro Donkey Hotei, but His Name is Cantinflas” This line made my day. Thank you for the laugh the memory of a black and white Cantinflas running around engaging in his shenanigan. The not so debonair Latin lover type.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You have spent much time sampling and appreciating beers. I have spent years sampling and seriously studying single malt whiskies. So I am pretty sure you will see some truth in what I say…

        …that the only certainty in all potables (or indeed in Life itself) is this: there is the stuff you like and the stuff you don;t and it does NOT matter if it is Dom Perignon or Diet Pepsi. Dom is NOT “better” than Pepsi, though one or the other may be more finely crafted; requiring a more complex, lengthier process of creation. Laphroaig whiskey is a more complex beverage than A&W Root Beer, but the root beer is sweet and satisfying…and Laphroaig tastes like licking an ashtray’s anus, if it had one. But I love both for different reasons. But no one can rightfully say Laphroiag drinkers are partaking in something of inherently greater universal value than Diet Pepsi drinkers are. I REALLY REALLY love Diet Pepsi, and can also taste the “hidden” flavours in Lagavulin.

        Connoisseurship is supposed to lead to the uplift of the human spirit, not a social hierarchy of “classy” people versus “barbarians”.

        So if you try my beloved Hibiki 17… I think we could have an uplifiting, shared human experience, which is what I love about Scotch appreciation! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • I plan on searching for Hibiki 17 this weekend. If I am unable to find it, is there another Japanese whiskey you recommend? I consume books, music, food and drink that friends love because they adore them. Of course I have my own well established likes and dislikes, but sharing in this manner is important to me. I don’t have to like everything that everyone else likes, but the attempt to share and understand is imperative to the art of living.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hakushu 12 yr old from Suntory is like drinking an almond milkshake mixed with green tea. But it will hit your wallet hard… so I would seek out the Hakushu Reserve, good quality and more affordable. You are going to have to pay $$$ for these as they are imports in Texas.

            If you find nothing, get a bottle of Scottish Dalwhinnie 15 for yourself and your wife. It is like drinking honey mixed with clover.And NEVER buy ANY Dalwhinnie products with a year after it (e.g. Dalwhinnie 1987, etc.) It is a marketing tool for suckers who think the price tag makes it special.

            And if all else fails, buy a bottle of Laphroiag 12 yr and be prepared to taste the wildest whiskey ever… it is kind of like going through whiskey boot camp…

            Liked by 1 person

              • Talisker is a great one, but don’t pay for any special “cask” or “reserve” or “double” blah blah blah. Anytime someone adds some special sounding words to a whiskey it is like adding the word “magic” to a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke then charging $300 dollars for it!

                BUT… if you can find a bottle of Glenmorangie “Portwood Aged” single malt, it is really worth it. They take the whiskey and finish aging it in an old barrel that used to hold port wine, thus adding a subtle “cherry” like after-taste as the whiskey leeches the port essence out of the wood.

                Also, if you can find a Wolf Blass unwooded chardonnay (white, not red label), make ABSOLUTELY sure you drink it while eating fresh kappa maki and/or tekka maki. It is an almost unbelievable pairing and the flavour spectrum in your mouth will be like eating/drinking a Van Gogh painting, very very vivid! Especially with the kappa maki, as the chardonnay adds a very slight “apple-y” flavour.

                Mecha mecha, beri beri, totemo oishii!!!!!!!

                Liked by 1 person

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