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?