John Hilliard/Flickr. Modified by James Thacher.
In my soul grows a small soul.
In my small soul, one smaller.
Infinite repetition, nonstop loop.
Each beanstalk is an endophyte.
Inside my teeth lie small baby teeth.
Inside those, infinitesimal baby teeth.
I reject each grim oath whispered
by gypsies in Western Mass. I fumigate
rotting futons. If he were still akickin’
I’d kick Robert Frost’s ass
in kickball. I’d pop the ball, restitch it
with shards of marble. I’d talk shit +
run up the motherfuckin’ score.
The game within the game.
I hereby donate my bargain-bin
Kama Sutra handbook to a humanoid
giraffe named Koan. Koan rocks black 
glasses and a Kangol. Inside Koan’s
neck is a neck; inside that neck,
a deep well. Neck-flex. How
ponderous. How ponderous the axons
fired into the cortex inside his cortex.
Over there’s the BBQ, the smoky pavilion.
Over there the gypsy fan club. 
Over here is Robby-Boy, pinned
with a participation ribbon.
He pouts and kicks a rock.
His soul slips off its helix.
Gyres widen around the bases.
Poetry trophy-wives applaud.
Inside the MVP is an MVP. 
DJ Koan is spun out, like his vinyl.
                                               ‘Til it skips.

This poem first appeared in Rattle, Vol. 46.


Dharma to your inbox

Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters

Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.

Liberate this article!

You’ve read all three of your free articles for the month. Subscribe now for immediate access to the magazine plus films, video dharma talks, e-books, and more.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Log in.