Full to bursting, this café
feels like the echoing vault of a
Ever noticed how sometimes,
the swirl of human chatter
rises to its own peculiar fever-pitch
of banal talk, tinged with urgency,
poignant, empty confessions?
I’m assailed by sudden collapse of plates
pistons of noise firing
words flung like cups and saucers
into incessant crowds.
I sit mute,
a disintegrating sphinx,
my mind a shattered menagerie
and flamingoes tumbling with
No match for this excited din,
and its brilliant vomited aphorisms,
I’m left hopelessly thumbing through
last year’s rule book.
I guess I’m destined for the
mountain hermitages of Han Shan
or Wu Pen,
who stumble like Baudelaire’s
albatross in the midst of
I’ll venture on mountain paths
trailing clouds through the
sharp as a peak,
that advances, erasing humming monks.
Far above the tempest of
the orgasms of
perish on silent pulverizing
And I, perched amidst the purity of
air too thin for even a whimper,
might learn, at last, how to listen,
how to speak.