At the Mahayana meditation retreat
I want to eat steak and smoke Havanas.
I read a book called Rebel Buddha but
it isn't rebellious enough.
I am a Buddhist the way a Mafioso
is Catholic. Instead of rival gangs
I kill cockroaches and mosquitoes.
I don't care if they're your grandmother.
I take a long, deep inhalation and try
to let go of thoughts about how
terrible I am at this and why doesn't
the air seem to be reaching my lungs.
They say when we meditate to look
for the gap between breaths
where thought vanishes and I think
London and minding the gap,
so my mind takes me on the tube
to Picadilly Circus where I'll
grab a pint and smoke Mayfairs
and finally take a deep breath.
I like the fat Buddha better than
the skinny one with the long earlobes.
The fat Buddha looks like someone
who'd drink a Tsing Tao with me
and pick up the tab for all the dim sum
while we're gossiping about the other
Buddhists, the sorry ones who live
on lentils and squash blossoms.
Fat Buddha would take bong hits
with me and my friends and know
how to dance hiphop. He'd say
yeah, man, be nice, try to love everyone.
Be a benefit to others. You're pretty
good at that. And when a cockroach
skitters out from under your stove,
go ahead and stomp it. It's a kindness.
Maybe it'll get lucky, be a dolphin
in its next life. A grandmother
dolphin. There's nothing higher. But
whatever. There's nowhere to go but up.