poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

Metaphor

an alligator moon crawls slowly over us
like three stars a billion light-years apart
seen as a constellation resembling a rhino

you can’t be too careless with metaphor
there’s no mark to miss
so you can take the moon’s one grey eye

clouded with cataracts, just hanging out
though of course flying a bit over 2000 mph
and imagine a huge invisible mouth

with tombstone teeth, a long lumpy back
like a mountain range, a whip-like tail
a hundred miles long wagging like a puppy’s

we can imagine it laughing at us
spending our tiny supply of mental energy
making up stories out of coincidence

remember the wild fox story? in the Wumenguan
a collection of ancient Chinese Zen koans
this one about an old Zen monk

become a wild fox for 500 lifetimes
because he answered a disciple’s question wrong
saying the enlightened are immune to causality

until another monk took pity on him
telling him the enlightened are immune and not immune
a transforming truth that allowed him a real death

immunity, not-immunity; two stars
a billion light-years apart stitched together
with subtle threads of not-thinking

the alligator moon laughs, blinking its eyes
the one we see and the one we don’t
so rapidly we don’t notice
its light flicker 500 times per minute

2 Responses to “Metaphor”

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