We men have always enjoyed killing each other.
The moment a new campaign was announced, everyone had to be in it!
You ride into battle, with a cry that expresses solidarity and unnerves the enemy. At that moment your mind is suspended between terror and bliss.
There is no past or future, neither being nor non-being, only freedom.
The invention of fire-arms changed all that.
The thrill is gone.
I’m staying home.
I have been asked to teach sumi-e over the internet.
The answer is : no.
Am I cruel, or just stupid in an old-fashioned way? I don't think so.
Let me tell you how I learned sumi-e:
I would go to the house of my teacher, he would pick a book from a shelf, open it at some illustration, and say "paint this." Then he would disappear into the kitchen and drink tea. Occasionally he would return and clap his hands, really loud, behind me.
A Lesson: "This is not a good eye you painted," he said, "give me a piece of paper. I'll show you how to paint the eye of a bird."
(Since he only wants to demonstrate a bird's eye, I give him a paper that somehow got a tiny dot of ink on it.) He takes the brush and paints a bird around the dot, in such a way, that the dot turns out to be the eye of the bird.
Sometimes he would paint something; but frankly, I don't remember a single technicality he might have taught. I do remember that something noble was going on, even sacred. We hardly ever talked. And quite naturally I felt that the accomplishments of the last thousand years were within my grasp.
After three years he gave me his japanese students and made me sensei, teacher.
"What shall I do?" I asked.
"Participate," he said.
One word. To teach students that had studied with the master longer than I had. Also, they didn't speak English; and since I don't speak Japanese we understood each other perfectly.
Does this explain why I believe appearing on a seventeen inch screen in someone's living room is fucked?
Oh, but your situation is not hopeless. The teachers you need will appear at your door-steps.
The knowledge you seek—all of it—is right in front of your nose.
In our country the Wisest Men are elected to the Supreme Court. Five of the Wise Men ruminated that a piece of paper very much resembles a human being—and therefore it IS one! That put these sparrows in a chirpy mood, for, certainly, they too, were now bona fide humans.
But the Wise Ones can’t stop thinking. The latest result of their introspection is a law that says:
“Any human walking around without a bicycle-bell must take his pants off, bend over and spread his cheeks—so that the officials can look for contraband bananas.”
Our feathered friends were horrified! First, they don’t have bells; and second they have no pants. They were sure to get the death-penalty!
Last week they escaped to an (unnamed) banana republic bereft of Wise Men. There they eat contraband bananas.
Agathon is portrayed by Plato as a handsome young man, well dressed, and of polished manners. Since these features appealed the young frog’s parents, they named him —Agathon.
Of course, they enrolled him in the most progressive daycare, and thereafter in the most expensive schools. The bright amphibian graduated with a degree in Flower-Arrangement and and Comparative Philosophy—Cum Laude, you understand—
which made him completely unemployable. He lived with his parents, who had signed for his trillion dollar student loan, until they lost their beautiful house by the lake. For a while he crashed on couches in friends’ living rooms. To escape debt-collectors, he’s let his hair grow long and now lives in a drain-pipe under Bright Street.
Edwin Hubble, the cute little dog, had his own little universe to play in.
But then —owing to Inflation or Relativity, or both — particles started flying faster than the speed of light and landed outside of the Hubble Sphere which, in this case, was the same as the Event Horizon.
If you don’t know what that means, let me just say, you can bark at this ball as much as you want, and it doesn’t answer back.
But, if you would be so kind…
Humans are so capricious!
They want me to guard, but when I chew on the furniture, they get upset.
Don’t they realise how sinister the couch is?
And FYI, that puddle under the table was an ACCIDENT. Can happen to anyone.
If they let me back on the bed, I promise not to, ever again, touch any stupid vase…
Hotei, the mythical Chinese saint, represents the freedom and joy of Zen attainment.
The glaciers are long gone. Greenland is melting, the ocean is rising and Hong Kong, Bombay and New York have disappeared under the waves.
Does this man look alarmed, frightened, or panicked?
Does he recycle his shopping bags to save the world?
Come on, folks—we passed that point fifty years ago.
If you don’t laugh now, while your head is still above water,
you are missing the joke.
Above is a true and authentic painting made by the Portugese adventurer Fernauo Mendes Pinto, who in 1543 was the first European to see Japan. He swears, this is what it looked like.
Those two olives on tooth-picks are his ships. The thing in the background is either a big nose or a mountain of sorts. We just don’t have any details.
Senhor Pinto “introduced” firearms to the Japanese.
That might explain the lack of detail; he was an international arms dealer!
When I was a child, there were still an abundance of dragons.
During the day they would be dozing on their cloud-pillows.
But as the sun moved closer to the horizon, they would eat pickled eggs,
light cigars, and begin a game of cards.
Bottles would be opened—and more bottles.
By midnight you could hear chairs splintering;
then chaise longues, canapes and other decorative accessories
such as curtains and carpets, seemed to fall out of the sky.
One day we found a table leg that had been bitten off!
One of the best kept secrets among cat lovers is that you can train felines to hunt.
Instead of going to the market, I unchain Gargantua and Goliath, after dark, and tell them what I want. Of course, they don’t pay any attention to what I say; after all, they are cats. So, I eat a lot of little song-birds for breakfast.
But occasionally they do bring in a plump little dog which goes right into the broiler.
And then the exotics.
You won’t believe this, but I’ve had everything from antelope liver to Cape Buffalo steaks. To subdue the gamey flavour of my Cape Steaks, as I call them, I smother them in a sauce made from Camembert and Mendoza, a robust Argentinian Cabernet.
I won’t mention the Ivory Billed Woodpecker.
I didn’t realise what it was, until I had finished the second drumstick.
Last night—to keep his feet from freezing—this hawk caught himself a sparrow to hold as a foot-warmer.
When the sun rises, the noble bird releases his frightened victim. Then he hunts opposite to the direction the sparrow took.
Don’t you just love the aristocracy for their virtuous ways?
As long as they will eat someone else for breakfast
we will worship their feet.
For an animal that lives in a diet of flies, the toad has remarkable attributes.
All you have to do is kiss one and BAM! you start hallucinating.
That, by the way, is illegal in Arizona, where most of the toads live.
Every now and then, instead of visions and delirium, you get a good-looking prince, who immediately proposes Holy Matrimony.
Accept it. Especially, if you live in Hawaii, where such things are now legal.
I, myself, live in Massachusetts; and for eleven years I have tried–unsuccessfully–to understand The State Tax Code.
So, now I do what everyone else does:
I hire a toad to fill out the forms.
The results, I must say, are most gratifying.
Beauty had been longing for—she didn’t know what—all her life.
When Light blew in on a breeze she knew it had been him all along.
He was so—so—capable. And his voice! When he sang her mind dissolved
and she could only blush.
Ahh, how we wish for a happy ending to this story! But that is not what fate had in
store for them.
For Light, it was a plate-glass window—
and for Beauty, something even worse…
You can create the world by naming it. We call that Poetry.
You can create the world by using the form of things. We call that Painting.
You can create the world by through motion. We call that Dance.
Or you can create the world by sounds. We call that Music.
I have given you the Secret of Art.
Notice, that I did not use the verb to describe.
The poet does not describe an experience.
He has one.
She was aiming for the highest. And the highest was to play the leading role in the Nutcracker.
After the audition the director sidled up to to her : “ Sweetie, you just don’t have the neck for a dying swan.”
“A neck?: she shrieked, “what do I need a neck for?” (She had pictured the nutcracker to be a sexy, divorced bird.)
“I din’t come here to play no wooden soldier, mister. Can’t we re-write this scene?
We call it THE SAFECRACKER. We blow that dying swan out of the water in the first act, and then we steal the jewels!”
“That’s a movie,” he said. “Have you thought of starring in a low budget action film?
You got the legs, baby; and, hey, that is some good-looking tail…”
The Little Moth longs to spend Thanksgiving with its relatives. With the titanium stent in its aorta and the stainless-steel kneecap-replacement, it can’t get through airport security apparatus. It’s a long way to Petoskey, Michigan, especially when you have to wing it in inclement weather.
But at the end of the road there is a hot cup-o-noodles! Moths, as you know, don’t eat turkeys.
And for dessert a glass of home-made Khrenovukha*.
Powerful but just the thing to take away the cold.
*a drink made by steeping horseradish in vodka