Friday, September 13, 2013

Old Pajamas: Biting The Buddha - Small Press Friday

Having previously reviewed Drenched Through at Old Age, by old pajamas, I've gone back to the well again to an earlier collection by him, entitled Biting the Buddha. Published by Blue Cottage press in 2000 ...

There is a noticeable difference in approach and style in this older volume; the newer book has no punctuation and an assured use of the monostich (there are none of the later in Biting the Buddha). Still, let's not get our knickers in a twist, eh - it is the message and the talent that should be in the forefront and so it will be in this overview.

From my lips rises the full moon
To stare at her white belly.

The mystery: origin, essence, and epicenter: the lips, the moon, the belly.

Enveloped so
        Inside me
The sudden rain
        Does not cool him.

Again, a mystery, this time one of identity, ego, and presence.

         In the air
A junkie's drawing...starved limbs
         Petals falling.

A lyrical little dirge, capturing at once the sadness and beauty of a life 'squandered,' and the rhyming echo.

Autumn gust,
Still leaves
          Scatter again.

This poem turns on the first word of line two: 'Still.'  To me, this feels like two contiguous moments, passing quickly.

How sweet the grass!
How calm a place
To lay skin and bone!

This resonates with philosophical beauty, dealing as it does with life and death and more, and a literalness that says it all, says it all ...

Dust rises
Restless in a dried field,
             Foot to foot.

Ashes to ashes - there is a biblical quality, a mythic quality, a folklorish quality to what, in essence, is a simple observation, couple with a human echo that has its own chilling quality. A sister poem to "How sweet the grass," certainly.

Crushed by the wheel
The fox looks back.

There is more to this little two-line 'short-story' than meets the eye, eh, Mr. Fox?

The tide gone out,
I am left behind.

Oh, maggie and milly and molly and may ... the ocean dwarfs us all with dimension and perpective and loneness. So much cosmic detritus, so little time. 

  Across the marsh
All life flies on the wind
  Of a New Year.

There is a big picture perspective here; strangely enough my first free associative thought is of the first picture of the earth from space. 

Oh, there it is!

Biting the Buddha may be purchased directly from the author for $5, which covers the cost of the mailer, the postage and the book. Contact him at <blue cottage 2000 AT yahoo DOT com>, no spaces, and read AT for @ and DOT for . in order to avoid those pesky harvesting bots.


US Postal Service Stamp Commemorating 100 Years of Cherry Blossoms

in cherry blossom shade
there are even those
who hate this world
translated by David G. Lanoue


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Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 176 songs

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