Nov 16
 
 

Toast Koan

This morning, while the toaster
was counting the number of ticks
to make a ding, I wrote an ode
to its zen nature, the way the line
between bread and toast is as
indiscernible as the division between
sound-making and sound-listening.

A magic trick in time lapse, the way
the toaster licks the bread with heat
successively, as the owl to the
tootsie roll pop, contemplatively,
until there’s enough zen already,
and it comes out crunch.  And there
we were, toast and girl and pen,
morning conundrums I stuffed
in my pocket, intending to transcribe
them into something concrete,
no crumbs.

But zen is the dog who barks an aria
then comes in to pee on the rug.
And it would have only been one
piece of a poem, an unopened koan,
if not for the conclusion, when I
blithely cleaned the poem with the
rest of the day’s crumbs into the trash
can, and put the can out, like an
abandoned car with a doll in it,
to be swept away.