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The Buddha on my Wooden Desk


by Samuel Derrick Rosen


The Buddha on my wooden desk
says all things are Chaplinesque,
 
that all's a self-containing joke,
a cube of ice in a glass of coke,
 
a sunbeam dragged thru autumn leaves,
the residue a lover leaves,
 
a kind of vein, an amniotic sac,
a puffed up Jill, a desperate Jack,
 
a Jonah stuck inside a whale,
a fragment of a fingernail,
 
a strand of hair on a hairless head,
a woman sprawled on a silken bed.
 
Last week I saw Vincent Van Gogh,
cutting off his left big toe.
 
Last week I saw Idries Shah,
wearing nothing but a strapless bra.
 
Last week I saw Mr William Blake,
feast upon an angel cake.
 
And now, above the speech of shells,
a homogeny that kiss and tells.
 
To manipulate my time and space,
I must climb the town clock face,
 
or instead, locate a quiet street
and scream that all is obsolete.
 
The Buddha on my wooden desk
mutters of a new burlesque,
 
all these mouths, all these tongues
secretly are cosmic rungs,
 
that lead to what?  An ultimate mind
inside of which we're all defined.
 
And its step the gaily, on we go,
all for one, woe for woe.
 
Obsessed with only ends and odds,
bedeviled are our patchwork gods.
 
Bedeviled even are the holy freaks
with lilies painted on their cheeks.
 
Today I saw Miss Joan of Arc,
feed the pigeons in my local park.
 
Today I saw the old man Moses,
going round selling plastic roses.
 
Today I saw some people weep
at nothing less than a flock of sheep.
 
Must everything be so grotesque?
A league of suns to luminesce?
 
Rub his belly.  Rub his head.
Try you might to raise your dead.
 
The Buddha on my wooden desk
says all things are Chaplinesque.
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