A Zen proficient friend once told me
“There is no stillness in you.”
I would have asked her what she meant,
but there were places I had to be.
I’ve spilled blood
and read in it the portents of my life,
this slippery sludge
pooling into Rorschachs on a page.
Because there is nothing a writer won’t do
to violate fresh, white paper.
I have then curled my lips back
and tried to speak
in the deep bass voice of meaning.
I would know my profundity
when dogs barked and children cried.
But there is a giddiness after the loss,
like all the puns I’ve ever heard
filling my arteries and veins,
pumping into numb extremities,
transforming my toes into odd, unfinished jokes.
You like me then
as I shake out punchlines
like one jiggles a sleeping limb.
God looms before me
in a jogging suit and size 19 Nikes,
even he’s seduced by the commercials.
“What do you think life means,” he asks.
I envy his deep bass voice.
Angels and saints mill about with disinterest,
they’ve heard the question before.
I look into the face of God
and tell him a joke about St. Peter.
Some angels laugh, Jesus cracks a smile,
and Pete looks slightly miffed.
I segue into some Moses golfing jokes.
“Just another audience,” I tell myself,
but God doesn’t forget the question,
and neither do I.