Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Eight Freedoms

1. NOT BEING BORN IN THE HELL REALMS
Your whole body shakes at the first radiator clacks of October. A squirrel's loathsome tail brushing along the bole of the Mayakovsky Tree, a dawdling gibbet lodges in their filthy hearts. Their eyes wide like Sumerian idols when I prowl the windowsill.

2. NOT BEING BORN AS A HUNGRY GHOST
If I were a water bug, I would not be able to eat the salmon trapped in cans of Friskies Salmon Dinner. For five hundred years, spiders are unable to find my food dish. You start shoving an acorn into your mouth but it's a tight fit. You press it and it breaks.

3. NOT BEING BORN AS A DOG
I woke up this morning on the suitcase. Who vacuumed the catnip? A dog can bark at mantras. But there is no way a dog can understand emptiness (shunyata) even if you scream in its ears for years. The dog upstairs sticks his whole whooping cough of a body out the window and watches Greenview Avenue go by, but he can't explain it to you.

4. NOT BEING BORN WHERE TEACHINGS ARE UNAVAILABLE
Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez calls the White House's handling of the war incompetent and warns that the United States is "living a nightmare with no end in sight." He blames the President of the War on Terror for a "catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan" and denounces the current "surge" as a "desperate" move that will not achieve long-term stability.

5. NOT BEING BORN AS A LONG-LIFE GOD
Kill some fish down by the creek
Hang their picture by the sink
Show your grandson who's the boss

Tie your two toat-goats to the front
U-Haul trailer full of souvenirs
That you buy along the way
6. NOT BEING BORN AS SOMEONE WHO SAYS THERE ARE NO FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS, NO REBIRTH, NO LIBERATION FROM KARMA
"Iran has long been the puppet master in the Middle East," said Glenn Beck. "You don't have to take my word for it. Just watch any episode of Law and Order. Use the thinking, you know, that helps them solve all the tough cases. Iran has the means, the motive, and the opportunity to try and destroy our American way of life by controlling the Middle East."

7. NOT BEING BORN WHERE NO BUDDHA HAS APPEARED
His pockets stuffed with rubles, Glenn Beck scampered in the flea-ridden dirt in Virginia where he tortured and killed all those dogs.

8. NOT BEING BORN UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE TEACHINGS
Bess's 15-year-old boyfriend, robust as a horse, falls in love with Rhoda and begins to surprise her with visits to her apartment and her workplace. Lou goes to the hospital to have a piece of World War II shrapnel removed and, surprisingly, he and Ted become best friends with the black cat across the street who strides the windowsill going, "Don't trample the legs of my piano!"

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