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Majik's Mala

(for Harris Breiman)



Majik's mala


click clacking in a quiet room


jerky moves of the bone beads slipping


down the string



Places you wouldn't think pain knew about


open up, we are re-instructed:


Mother Buddha's string of beads,


and a hopeful puppet in her sixties


still on the lookout for freedom



It may not come climbing mountains


as before, or plumbing the depths


and positions of sexual nature


It may not come running high speed


through the woods like a dog in the summer hemlocks


May not come trekking out to find death sitting alone


in infinitudes of winter



But in slowly giving up, in the hand unclenched


the personality cooked like soup


inside the skull


Come all you who are hungry


Come and eat.



Too long fixed in place, the body


becomes an ironing board,


a bicycle standing against the wall,


it creaks into use, the slow spokes,


screech of legs propped up in the living room,


Locked in a photo frame one has time


to observe mortality click clack


it is not unhappy.



No fixed opinion


when fluid motion is yanked away


it might just as well be heads


as tails click clack


these things do not matter.



Freeze frame of Majik Labdrom's mirror


the absurdity of us marching dignified


to a graveyard one step two step Oops!


off the curbstone, down like a man in profile


The Punch and Judy Show


to a crowd of San Francisco children


Wap! He's down! Wap! He's up again!


click clack click clack clack



An umbrella opens, the taffeta hangs tattered


the spokes like a ribcage sing


in the wind


Fluid moves so rare we notice now


when they come up, like animated movies


Goofy drops his gumball down the sewer


Minnie holds onto her hat as she plunges skyward


off the cliff like a kite.



No references, no grave demeanor


considered opinions melt in the soup bowl


of the skull, click clack


Hey! Comes a moment, Hey!


No limping, no hunched shoulders, no stiff elbows


a body is moving easily over the landscape



Hey, what happened?


Majik Labdrom in meditation


her mala serenely around her neck


each bead in motion, in static grace


each bead in fluid motion.



Majik Labdrom, pronounced ladrĂ³n,


like a Puerto Rican second story man,


The nice thing about God as a thief


is she takes it from you


willing or not, knowing or not


she takes it, you wake up one morning


and it's all decided: mobility (or good looks


a perfect ass, a capable memory)


has disappeared.



Coming out of sleep, the chrysalis


kicks off its cocoon, the (choose one)


praying mantis katydid grasshopper's


arms and legs are littered across the plain


and works of art, the diamond rings


are swimming down in the muck with the snails.




Willow, NY, January 13, 2005



Majik Labdron: Female "Mother" Buddha. Inventor of the chod ceremony,

she is often depicted dancing, usually in a graveyard.


Mala: String of prayer beads, worn around neck, or on wrist, or in hand.

Each bead can be used for a repetition of the mantra.



[Originally published in NHS 2008, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs08/Janine_Pommy_Vega.htm.]