Levitating Buddha with 99 red balloons is the general principal-
I said to the union of theological executives.
They all looked at me strangely,
with such obviously vacant notions of the principal,
still nodded slowly,
As if to say, “hmmm, very interesting…”
One meticulously manicured,
grey goatee faced fellow,
raised his off-yellow pencil at a 90 degree angle-
making the pink stub of the eraser line up to precisely the same altitude
as his head- Or,
As if he had a crossing guards stop sign,
Or he was signaling a right turn on his and his wife’s tandem bike that he bought them early in their marriage-
(when he still loved her)
Like the way the smart kid in middle school raised his hand shyly-
Because it’s not very cool to be smart,
(at this age)
The smart kid is smart enough to know this,
but not bold enough-
to tell them all to
It’s ok though kid, later in life, it’ll be a great way to
Get yourself laid.
It looked like a meek intellectualized inquiry,
from a journalist on his first day of the job.
“Yes sir, you in the front-
in the ugly plaid cardigan that your wives sister- who has aged
so much better-
bought you for Christmas so many
Damn, you coulda had her back in the day too-
You coulda plowed her till next July!
What was your question?”
He cleared his throat before speaking-
In tongues I could only identify
“Well, when you use the term levitate, I cant help but associate some form of whichcraft to the process- is it even possible to harness this spiritual figures powers, while using purely catholic methods of extraction?”
“that’s an excellent question sir- yes,
after the extraction process, we carefully
mix the primary derivitives in a ratio of 2 part
fear, two part guilt, and 4 part hot air- does that
answer your question?”
He thoughtfully fondled the grey goatee on his chin several times before replying,
Bringing his thumb and pointer finger from the edges
Of the stiff grey field-
To the very center of his chin.
After he did this one time-
Each person immediately responded unanimously with
the same gesture and timing.
It looked like those stock footage films of hitlers army-
the careful Synchronization in their marching
inspired fear and implied power-
Even the very few females in the crowd mimicked the gesture,
and only 2 of the 5 of them,
actually had goatees.
He cleared his throat before speaking again-
(but only cause he knew it makes you seem smarter)
“Yes- mostly, but how do you plan to contain the mixture
in a plausible yet efficient manner? Concrete blocks, or caskets- perhaps discarded condoms from planned parenthood?”
I could somehow see through this mans bald
He had a soft spot on top like a newborn baby,
Where the skull never quite met
in the middle-
(an obscure metaphor for his existence in fact)
I could see the rusty mechanical gears and levers-
Weaving and catching and crushing and grinding and slowly turning
Around and into themselves and back out and around
And repeat and repeat
Many workers have lost fingers in those merciless gears- slowly
crunching down in slow motion- like a
chicken bone in the mouth
of a mad dog-
and you can bet your ass there was no
workmans comp for this,
Or even unemployment-
(field trip money just aint in the budget kid, sorry)
“ Well- as I was going to address furtherly in my
presentation- we must find a way to appeal to a
contemporary market, and a new target audience.
In answer to your question, we will be containing
the mixture within 99 red balloons. Our research
suggests this will be most effective in attracting the
sub-demographic categories of alternative belief,
unsures, zen-hipsters, undecided youth, naturalists,
and the dying baby boomers who fear hell near death,
and go from brand A (agnostic) to brand B (pray like hell).”
But Where Does It Go From Here?
“But where does it go from here?”
is a question that either offers an infinite buffet of vague scholarly speculation upon the subject being objectified; OR
an objectified response of limited academic caliber, subject to
scholarly dissection, critical analyzation, arbitrary digestion,
Inevitable regurgitation, half-assed contemplation,
Un-budging authoritative interpretation.
It is exactly that dissatisfied question,
That puts me pondering on the hillside,
As I look upon the city that I love.
I sit still,
Enamored with the view.
A bee hovers nearby,
Over a patch in which to pollinate.
I do not startle,
For I too, am that bee.
Long hair wavering in warm breeze
Like a bird in the ever flowing currents of the pale blue sky.
My face seeks this sensation head on.
No different than a wind sock do I repeatedly excite and retire from
This jovial torrent,
With moments in between to sigh away a currently resolved tension.
Temporary fulfillment knows true bliss.
The warm wind upon my skin and whitman’s leaves of grass
Excite my exterior self
and linger within the subconsciously sublime state in which I seek.
“So where does it go from here?”
I hear my high school teachers asking,
“And where does it go from here?”
I hear my puzzled peers inquiring,
“But where does it go from here?”
professors echo still while smiling.
And I wonder,
“Should I know?”
“I sure hope not,” is my fallback response,
in persuit of something grand,
In consideration of my recent plans to travel-
Should I not invest a portion of my artistic explorations
in the somehow cicular
yet ever changing enigma
that is posed and re-posed
in any infinite number of combinations of phrases
of questions of challenges
of promts of clouds of
unknowing OF COURSE YOU SHOULD!
And you should do so without
Sitting, still- as I look onward upon,
My spot in the grass on the hill in the city-
I see a moth flutter by,
With as clumsy,
As urgent of grace- as the warm
Summer wind will permit.
I watch with awe,
As this wheat colored creature weaves an intricate vibration,
Harmoniously resonating on the lower chords of the wind
And the higher tones of the field.
I AM that nonchalant
Flowing somewhere between destination and direction,
Stopping perhaps when ceases the wind.
The bee still hovers nearby,
Closest to my bare foot as I watch,
Fascinated with rigid amazement.
I curl my toes in the warm summer sun,
The bee moves on to a new patch,
And as I pull my focus outward
And pan the luscious milwaukeee horizon,
I see hundreds of buzzing black dots,
Lifting and landing,
All along the stretching hillside,
No different than nearest my foot.
A similar such creature circles at the base of my hill
Slowly, rhythmically, sucking at the air
With hands upon hips
profusely perspiring, and
modestly plotting his next trek up the hill,
continually conquering the seemingly fruitless voyage with a
singular goal in mind upon each trip.
Make it to the top, and than get back down to the bottom.
Make it to the top,
Get back to the bottom.
All while the bee nearest my foot,
The moth fluttering wind,
And my face seeking that brisk onward splash
As blows through blonde,
As bows through branch
As posed, re-posed,
And infinitely intertwined.
Joseph R. Reeves