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The Sacred in the Quotidian

Fall, 2005

Gene Berson


Buddhism can kiss my ass
the zen center puts up a restaurant at fort mason
with a view of the bridge, the boats bobbing around
the hills across the bay --- million dollar property
why? just because they're a religion
& not a restaurant like any other restaurant?
they play up the richies
I could tell by the way they let me wait around
before seating me, because I was dressed like I was,
buttons off my coat and shit
they lay out cloth napkins and so on
there's a couple of retired admirals from the marina
one in a real sporty yellow & blue coat & wearing
soft shoes --- little do they know
buddha is grinning in their ear as he sucks
the blood from their pension dollars:
oh well, they've done their share,
& don't have too far to go. the waitress looks so anxious
to please I'm afraid to ask her for more coffee
out of fear that she'll have a nervous breakdown
& the maitre d is another street casualty
the woodwork is nice, but you couldn't afford it
in a normal restaurant, fucking capitalism
would make that impossible,
you've got to have a system of slaves
to make nice things, it seems, although for my part
you can shove the whole bunch of crap into the ocean
& go back to eating off a log. culture
can kiss my ass as well, but then here I am
lapping up the aesthetic environment, although ambivalent:
god I hate anything halfway organized
I must be some sort of off the wall species
this is the way into the new bureaucrateze: zenease
or Denny's? which will it be?
the zen den at fort mason
will make you a better person, Eugene
take off the rough edges 

you might as well face it
you've flunked civilization.