Thursday, April 15, 2010

no more zen

anybody can enter Buddha's world
so few can step into the Devil's.

~Ikkyu/Crazy Cloud


Michael Pisaro said...

Love your quote here Jesse. The heading "no more zen" also put me in mind of a poem by James Tate, called "The End of Zen":

There was a very tiny frog sitting on a fallen
leaf staring into space and hoping for an aphid to
fly by. A boy spotted it and picked it up and took
it into his house to show his mother and sister.
They loved it and made a little home for it in an
insect box. Nobody thought about the little frog’s
family. Two days later they returned the frog to
the very same leaf upon which they had found it.
It was a day of solemn, good news. An hour or so
passed, and then a golden mayfly flew by. The frog
jumped and swallowed it.

jesse said...

I wrote Tate a fanboy note almost 30 years ago, smitten by the early collections, Viper Jazz, Rowing With Your Hair, et al.

The Buddhists have the ball field. Then the teams
arrive, nine on one, but only three on the other.
The teams confront the Buddhists. The Buddhists
present their permit. There is little point in
arguing it, for the Buddhists clearly have the
permit for the field. And the teams have nothing,
not even two complete teams. It occurs to one team
manager to interest the Buddhists in joining his
team, but the Buddhists won’t hear of it. The teams
walk away with their heads hung low. A gentle rain
begins. It would have been called anyways, they
think suddenly.

~ James Tate, The Buddhists Have The Ball Field