I’m ambling through room 206, the space filled with images of the Awakened One, like the figure of Sengqie carved from willow and said to prevent floods, or the world’s largest gilt-bronze statue of the Future Buddha Maitreya who will come to us when this epoch is nothing but ash, overhead the ends of the rattan cane that outline His personhood as if dipped in blood, hands at 10 and 3 o’clock which I interpret to mean open yourself and you will be received, but what about yesterday outside the gate to Pier 90 at 50th Street and the Westside Highway, how, long story short, St. Patrick’s Day I found myself among nine protestors stationed outside the entrance to the Emerald Society’s annual St. Patrick’s Day after-party, the Emerald Society an organization of Irish Policemen, and the nine of us with our banner and chants—HEY! HEY! BIGOTS IN BLUE, YOUR PEOPLE WERE IMMIGRANTS TOO! which we quickly changed to HEY! HEY! COPS IN BLUE et cetera, the purpose of this action being a critique of the NYPD’s decision to cooperate with ICE in the deportation of the undocumented, but listen: how to convey the vitriol, the hurling of hatred indiscriminately at one another? I was there, I was a part of it, I held a sign, I was photographed, I didn’t move when the bully cop lied, saying we would be arrested (this is not a humble brag— I stood there because the other eight protesters stood there, and to move, to be autonomous, to call attention to myself was something I could not muster the courage to do), and while I did not use the words racist or white supremacist, my non-use of these words is a distinction without a difference, the whole while my heart beating, “Amy, what do you believe about the social contract and civility? Do you believe everyone on this earth loves someone and is loved by someone in return?” And that’s what it’s come to. Like the time I almost drowned in the Pacific off the coast of Peru, the forces of nature sweeping you up and doing what they will with you, pile-driving you headfirst into the shoals, all the world over beings walking through sliding metal gates, singing the songs of their people, arms doggedly linked.
Archives for March 2017
all of it, even cruelty, the naked man under the underpass on I-10 toward Houston, his body twisted like an oak metastasizing around a power line. And the woman panhandling by his side, the woman riding his deformity like an impresario though sometimes we can only know the surface and not the churning, the golden flecks forming deep in the barrel, resulting in my claiming him whom I have no right to claim, I pick him for my universe not out of pity or noblesse oblige but because somewhere in the night of the living sea the blue whale is also rambling seven miles deep, to it, the incomprehensible light anathema.
Traditionally 5-7-5 with a nod to now, the seasons. Take Basho, e.g. “An old pond, a frog jumps in— the sound of water.” The sudden wisdom of a single breath on glass. Lake fog. Apathy. People deboarding are made to prove who they are. Who are you? Prove it! The survivor says, "Happiness is the final human right." Here here! That movie changed me. He became vulnerable, stronger, wall-less, whole.
A dead bird frozen to the concrete floor. Someday even it will thaw.