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Poem: The Stink of Zen

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krishna
never had much to say
about my
black and barren
days.

except

“it was an
unavoidable
act of god.”

his lip quivered.
i didn’t believe him.

he exploded with
delight and
disappeared.

(rat bastard)

abandoned
in a blizzard
of ashes
in my own
ghost town

who would be
my pinup hero
now?

loath to be alone,
i sought refuge
at the tabernacle of the
rowdy

but she was there
in all of her
volatile glory,
mercury running
in her veins,
putrid daisies in her hair

her smile a twisted secret
she was an old school
trickster,
masquerading as a friend,
in on the joke
from the beginning

she ordered
enlightenment
on kosher smaltz.
I looked away
as she paid with
counterfeit
two dollar bills.

what is that fishy smell?
she asked, sticking her nose
into an underarm.
it’s the stink of zen,
she said,
knowingly

i gave her a sniff.
yeah.
it’s everywhere these days.

master of
bait and switch,
she deftly, easily,
substituted her concerns
for mine
in the mirage of
our conversation

with nowhere else to go
i sat, sipping her
mercy and favor
from a dirty chalice
a stubborn lipstick smudge
from the last customer
mocking me

she pulled a late model
luxury soapbox from her pocket
and climbed aboard.
“by the way,” she preached,
“thou shalt not
micro-manage
god.”

i sucked hard
on my vodka gimlet.
her admonishing rant
bulldozed
me toward
inebriation,
desperate for its
shallow promises

a belligerent parrot
caged nearby,
echoed her
condescending manifesto.
“thou shalt not
micromanage god...
...braaawwwk.”

how long had i been here?
my watch had stopped
during the blizzard.
imitation rolex
ain’t what it used to be

i performed the only
sleight of hand
i knew.
forged her signature
on the check,
and slipped out
through a hole in
her argument

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