Nocturnal Tonglen: A Movie Review


Breathe in black smoke,
says Genshe; breathe back
white light. In Tibet
we call this tonglen.
Comes from Mother;
comes from compassion


After The Pianist
my snores turn to earth shudders
deep implosions camouflaged
guys carpeting hillsides beaches
strewn with overcoats arms
legs of children air heavy
with smoke and mourning.


Through mortared rubble
strides the dreamer who finds me
naked and locked out
at the change house door.


Have you heard what’s playing
at the theatre?
he asks,
his fingers fine as cut keys,
Human Suffering, he says
through ivory white teeth.
Oh, I say wondering how much
more smoke a person
can breathe without
suffocating


It’s okay, he says.
The movie changes
on the weekend.
What’s coming? I ask
Apocalypse Now?


No, he says,
Star Trek,
and opens the door
to the change house.


Stepping inside I am
bathed in white light and waves
of Rachmaninov.