Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wisdom of Liars

Thoreau, de Beauvoir, Rajneesh, Castenada

Henry lived a dedicated life
Inspired thousands, millions, even
Bright-eyed, dewy idealists
Shed the world for cabins in the wood
At his example,
Seeking in themselves for self-reliance.
How much does it matter, then
That his prose conveniently omits
The weekly trek to mother’s house
For food and laundry?
Men’s independence ever rests
On women’s work

And women’s independence!
Rebellion from the social drudgery
Traditional provision of food, shelter and succor
Simone the pennon held aloft
To lead the charge.
To those who held her “mannish” she replied
“no, just a person.” Yow.
So, how much does it count
That Sartre trampled her affection
Dignity and pride
Left her bruised and battered in the dirt.
Her principles were sound
If not their application

This being so
Why should I dismiss the words of
Spiritual sages
Dragging feet of clay?
Or in the Bagwhan’s case
Ferried in a fleet of eighty Rolls
Symbols of his so-unworldly life.

And Carlos, what of to make of him?
Those pesky call slips
Giving him the lie
Dreaming in the stacks when
His thesis puts him in
Don Juan’s fierce tutelage.

Maybe earnest liars
Are God’s fools
Deceiving their disciples, and the world
While accidentally touching
Some great truth
Despite themselves

It’s worth considering
Buddha had it right: the lotus grows from mud

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