Please scroll down to the introduction
and read it first. It explains what I have against the analyse-as-you-go
approach to poetry; -- and then use the table of contents to skip around,
or, if you like, just continue to scroll down. Do not bother with
the grades they hand out at school. Prepare, instead, to attain nirvana
sooner than it takes you to think it over.
BY SAM HAZLEHURST
©Copyright Y2K, 2KI, by Sam Hazlehurst. All
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Perfect Disillusionment
The Hope in Custom
The Crooked Pendulum
Control unto Justice
Void over Mind
The Praxis of Mathematics
The Starting Point Blues
Mammon's Academic Elixir
Fate on the Prowl
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"Woe, poets wild: the proven fool's Faust rule." -- Krishna X. Buddhafakir
These verses are very patchy, and it
is the poet's intent that they be understood by ear to be sonorous clouds.
Much of the cloudiness, in line with an old Zen custom, is syncopated,
to add storms to the sonorities. Cloudy sonorities, just beautiful!
Pedants will find these meanings to be much of the stutters, and literalists
will find them gibberish. An ear for sonorous clouds, as against
that, will find the strings of verses add up to a clear Zen insight, much
as the patches in a painting add up to a picture, and in the case of these
verses, pictures made up of sonorous clouds to fall on the ears as a clear
mood. Moods are the element of unity in these strings which keep
The bedrock idea of Zen is very simple, and it stays simple, be no bother given the schools -- all the reader need do is blow his mind from time to time, and no reason for chains of logic, for evangelism, for fanaticism -- no reason for school -- of any kind. But at school it is much harder to understand nirvana, since the masters there insist on system, and on consistency, and on infallibility, and so forth. Without, however, a cup of nirvana every now and then, drawn from the river, school inmates will demand that bottled nirvana be kept on their booze shelves; nirvana most vague or whatever it is, since no one dares be careless with his mind at school. Traditional Zen, which is bottled in rare glass, insists on smoothly dramatic ecstasy, and long-lasting beatitude and bliss for each new buddha, but it cannot avoid the ordinariness of nirvana entirely. The tradition is the refined work of the schools: sawdust-Zen teaches teachers rather than seekers. So, demoralized, the seekers, most of them sequestered in school detention, will ask, if Zen is so simple and easy as sonorous clouds, why bother at all? Let the bitter-baked teachers find that -- that other nirvana they dream of. It does not refute this to ask the counter-question, if opening doors is so simple and easy as people think, why bother at all? At school nothing is simple and easy. Since students insist that whatever that was, or yet is, be part of their school lot, earnest efforts are made within the precincts of death to explain to them how to blow their minds, mostly by means of riddles; since mental decorum is never made light of there. The traditionalists make Zen endless school courses. And it boils down to the result that those with good mental balance take recourse to block-buster games.
In block-buster games, and poems, mental blocks are redefined so as to put their vexatious qualities on the spot, and then busted. Since tomorrow will bring another block, these school games run on and on. Zen is another word for reflection. Traditional reflections on school bondage will advise years and even kalpas of study, at school of course; and yet Zen seekers are well advised to take it to heart, that it isn't Zen if it isn't a simple picture of a lantern by the door. Nothing extra, nothing special; no gift taxes. The reader can fill this bill by skimming the verses in this collection just for their sonorities, letting the brainwash content slip through the sieve, and then waking up enlightened next morning. It happens all the time, verses or no.
To explain the simple and easy idea of it in wonderfully condensed alert: there simply is no excuse for a single school word, in or out of school.
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THE PERFECT DISILLUSIONMENT
(Note.) Across the varying terrain of
religion, traditional and evangelistic, and modernist irreligion as well,
Zen falls like rain. It helps to underline the meaning of each religion
without losing its own meaning, and yet is without any rabid urge to convert
the lot. How is this?
Along with the ordinary meanings of ordinary events, there are strange moments that bring an unearthly meaning and leave behind a haunting memory. Are not these moments somehow transcendent? Religion devotes itself much to recapturing such magic meanings. What they come up with is the addictive drug of a "perfect meaning." With piety and by other illicit means they encourage their believers to cultivate the perfect meaning, to seek it on peril of damnation, which is a sneer at every ordinary meaning, to become devoted to the meaning which is perfect because it is transcendent and universal both. Honesty becomes vagueness, and soon there is holy war. Because these excesses are an evil that makes most people angry, it becomes recommended that the perfect meaning be taken a spoonful at a time. The result is Science.
Zen observes that the magic meanings which start this have the same traits and characteristics as other meanings: an impression of a reality-friendly good, and a fleetingness that may be transcendent and yet is transient all the same. At the root of these meanings, both magic and ordinary, is the meaning of nirvana. There is no mystery about nirvana, the word-roots of which mean the "cessation of enchantment"; its only mystery is its alleged perfect, drunken, meaning. On the contrary, there is neither ache nor longing in nirvana, which is best likened, instead, to the taste of water. True, hell cannot sneer at the secrets of water. But it can impose the search for magic. And for this Zen has a practical if imperfect remedy, void of perfections much as the vastest of voids: the perfect disillusionment. The perfect meaning of pious ambition is seen in the light of nirvana. If you are a Christian, the love of Jesus will strike you in strange moments. And this will have more of a meaning, and less of an ache, when it is supplemented with water distilled from the Zen rain.
Moods gone to sad defeat
Ensnare artistic pride
In hopes that frills deride
Free minds no pride can cheat.
Proud garden in bloom
Near the tracks which go to town --
Dirt-beds fixed up new.
A haze of yellow, when the sun frightens
The clouds away, sinks storm-wise opinions
Into small quarrels over fence and paint;
And then the sun hides to break their omens.
Satan digging graves;
Eyes stone and strange that glower
At the roses there.
They say good health is the work of wisdom:
Well, then, let the muses down bitter rum
And roll in the gutter, to scandalize
Such artistic hearts as yield when they come.
Music from far off --
To impress on skulls.
Those they crucify for pilfering so,
And those for sharp decisions -- friend and foe
In lost seasons, -- are dolts: some find suchness
In rush, others in a picture window.
Thin light shows horses
Shadows in the midst of clouds
Too high up to sniff.
Twisted as tight as philosophy twists
Its victims -- those who find nirvana late, --
The star of freedom soon depends on lists
Of steps taken, listings which act its fate;
As when prescriptive bondage calls the shots
From first to last, the orders scruple spells
Without discretion, so intellect blots
The words which break strict rigor into shells.
The tongue in search of time to waken eyes
Oppressed by structures of their social clocks
Finds small leave of license in hell, where lies
Make bold in rounded ties and mental blocks.
Then let freedom spread from inside the heart:
In time to keep life true while lies depart.
Scribble by Travesty
Moods steps the which good hells Withose work of
clocks whilosophy twisdom Nearts The sun heart: In
lost seasons -- art. Prounded and mental clocks dolts:
social bloom far of winds small quarrels of
lies Of star of time for in heartists They sted the
those into tone and stone andalize of freedom spell,
to shows inside In the which good health is then,
licens. Thin a pictures Shadow. A haze of light
sharp dering graves; Eyes defeat. Mood hell
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THE HOPE IN CUSTOM
(Note.) At school, mostness is just the
most. Religion says that of the minds greater than ours, the greatest is
God. Astronomy spreads out a dragnet of graphical coordinates, always in
search of the criminal infinite. The movies back this up. Leastness, to
be relative instead, is composed of grains of sand, small gusts of wind,
small graveyards, and so forth, all reaching out for mostness so as to
become a great big rubber ball. What, then, is mostness? It is cardiac
Bubonic nightmares strike
With bribes and torch symbols
Where the forest crumbles
Into back-roads on hike.
Forlorn on the porch,
Clear humors in spells which swoon
Through pagan graces.
The sins of former lives be damned, if true,
And worse, if false; in the way swindlers do,
So long as fate fits the parts together,
Thus that trite wisdom kick time black and blue.
Those who treasure law
Dance to redeem their studies
As steps to their graves.
Brusque enough to holler straight at the moon,
Tragic crazes gyrate weird and lampoon
The swift bayonet, which swirl moccasin
And mud high together, then sack and goon.
The strangest moment
Mind might find to rhyme its blinds:
To speak as freak -- cry!
The market-place which coins brittle tempers
In defense of the bulk of night-trippers
Downstairs -- those who wish grace from every inch --
Mass-produces wild dreams and glass slippers.
A squirrel quick free
Neglects the windows out there --
Just in time to breathe.
Under better grants up high than God begs
To be the uprights he stakes his life on,
Derelicts, then, should drink down to the dregs
The cup of bitter charm he keeps in pawn:
Why who should trouble his motives to take? --
They stand his good will show and drink again,
And brave the call of conscience when he wake,
Before the urge to letter moves his pen.
Strange pride, also in pawn, lights countenance
And sacred sins perforce gone mad, with aim
To damn high grace and boot the drunkards thence,
And call the clowns to bless his sacred name.
Yet notwithstanding this, be free his fill,
The love of freedom guides the Buddha still.
Scribble by Travesty
Bubonic crazes goon his slipperfores he drink agan
God worse, And glass slippers -- those who should
to back time its those whence And his slippers Down
their grace way strants his, theird and mud his,
be the cup his gyrate from every inch swirl moment
Mind to redeem their grace to this life on The
swind glass-produces. The Buddha stairs In defense
on to begs To back-roads ther, then, life on, Dere
long then sacred sins performer grace to true
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(Note.) In battle an army starts off
slowly, then goes fast, and at last strikes of a sudden. It is almost syllogistic.
First a maximum of preparation, then a minimum of financial talk, and at
last catharsis and nirvana. Schools of all sorts espouse some sort of theory
of the dialectics between the gradual and the sudden. Take nine hundred
careful steps and the remaining hundred paces will show a dice game where
the traveler must watch his step. Stop and look around beyond the mists
and it will become apparent there is much more in the world than a single
journey. Time is not contained along a single road. The three milestones
of tradition are no more than a journey around an equilateral triangle,
most of the time spent playing dice at the angle-points. Wisdom is not
committed to a single battle. If the traveller thinks it is, he has more
tricks of the number-trade to learn, and so the dice game will carry him
away, never to be heard of again.
Time in a rough scramble
Smooths the alerts of blood,
Sculpts the Buddha in mud,
And coins gold as bramble.
Pebbles near the beach,
Content to be skipped over --
And then comes the snow.
Mad monkeys composing in superb style
And mad entertainment word after smile,
Unable now to reach another year
Of jive, and then a year of witless guile.
A widow in lace
Does well to prove it murder:
Freedom to live on.
Words to treasure strike the ears as blazes
Which burn out net worths and load with praises
Rich suchness in the heart, which in turn spreads
The dreams of clay from which Mammon gazes.
A sad old account
And a smooth bottle of cheer
Speed God on his way.
Destitute freeze when the Buddha has lost
The meaning he glints at the clouds; -- stars crossed
After his hopes have vanished in the wilds
Of the sky, and withered leaves curse the frost.
Intellect proves false
When the blind Buddha propounds
A riddle at school.
The Buddha started his grand exodus
From fate in mind its details hold all minds
To be examples of it, who discuss
Enslavement, such as haunted virtue finds;
Yet in transmission those fine words he said
Concerning freedom, maxims thus and so,
Came coin at school -- to gather while hope fled,
As wisdom spoken so and thus be woe.
Then glances at hope's door delivered sleep,
In sad escape from what their looks imposed
To serve as fatal warning, looks which creep
Across new shadows once the door is closed.
Soon tricked, the bounties word-obsession gains
Be lost in clouded skies life twists and strains.
Scribble by Travesty
Time clouded his he Buddha provered After his clouded
After smile, Unable now. Mad entent, such in
trike the Buddha started style at school. Then clouds;
-- And the Buddha prove vanished oves Rich and
leavement word all mind mad exampless nears at school
-- style as fatal warning, looks in a year the
meaning, lost The hope's door details he hold as
haunt And wilds The Buddha started once then the
meanished virtue freedom spoken clouds; Yet words
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