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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gan Yu

I'm not sure where this poem fits in the Gan Yu series, so for now
it must remain numberless

More toppings
More flavors
Same price

Says the sign
On the side
Of Rafiqi's truck that's
Parked along West 29th

It's already springtime
And daylight is entering
It's warm up phase
With a glow that lingers
Into the late afternoon

As am I
While Rafiqi is scraping
The grill in the background
Sometimes it seems
It's best to prepare yourself
For an equal allotment of pain
In the foreground some bad jazz
Is playing here in the Pret
Whilst I while away
What remains of the afternoon
With a cup of their darkest French roast

To write a poem may be
Almost as simple as
Explaining what I'm thinking now
But the present moment has a history
And a future too
Each with its own in turn
Almost like turtles all the way down
It passes into eternity

So finally I understand
What previously I'd only intuited
That Enlightenment too
Can be a bitch
When you get right down to it
With so much sweetness there often
Comes something much more
Burdensome than light
Call it the clarity and depth
Of insight that comes with early evening
Sometimes to the accompaniment
Of an almost numinous
Sense of dread

Whether we're talking about
Rafiqi's gyros on rice
Or anything else
You can think of in life
Sooner or later
You've got to be prepared
To pay the same old price

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