Fuck Zen by Jonathan Dowdle

Through the barbarism of humanity
Which marches through tongues, glances,
Where all becomes media reduced
Into the cliche of life, vacuum fed,
Thought neutered, expression castrated,
In every: “Let’s have a conversation”,
Reduced to the absence of listening,
Views parroted even by the best,
Blood poured into the concrete,
Learned by rote to form identity,
Thought caught in the spin
Until the whole world is dizzy
In marking their place with empty expression,
All for fear of censure, want of congratulation,
That in the pause of all that is held
Firm as the wind between clenched fist
I think, for a moment on this,
“Fuck Zen.”

In the absence of understanding I hear repeated,
Phrases pregnant with meaning, reduced
To their most base forms:
“Be The Change/Our Deepest Fear/
Holding on to anger/All know the way…”
There in the streets of pity,
Where everyone expects mercy,
And few give it; high with their hold
Around the throat for the moment,
Each with labels derived
To reduce humanity into dust
Before it has burned through the fire of life
Into sudden ashes,
There, I think: “Fuck Zen.”

Because it is no more than a word,
Meaning erased, stamped
With fortune cookie theatrics,
Where we enlarge ourselves, worries,
Problems, and reduce the world’s truth,
Possibility, and small and mewling
Become children to the art of
Blame, and self-congratulations,
Striking poses as stones are thrown
At shadows, those fears which still,
Perhaps always will, own us,
Happy in their momentary defeat
We wait to cry out again
For not receiving the very thing
We refuse to give.

I listen to the long, drawn scrawl,
Which shouts obscurity, as though
It still had meaning, to those
In power, the world below,
Which all is built on the backs of,
Still at war, and watch each truth
Reduced to dream, each dream
Reduced to the box
Of a definition; and there
We write the word: “Truth”.
This abysmal emptiness
We create through stories,
Long and drawn, through vision
Born from such stories,
And laugh, into the abyss
At the mockery of life
Where death in each heart, each gaze
Flows forth like a wound
Always waiting
In its own day, its own way
To find the flesh.

Because comprehension
Does not matter, but each thing
Must be bent,
Contort, until it fits the story,
The wars still hidden
In so many lips,
In so many eyes,
I shake my head, and sigh,
Carve out the life of meaning,
Look down at the corpse
That remains of a word,
The corpses of
So much language,
And say simply:

“Fuck Zen.”

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