Walking beside the Kamogawa, Remembering Nansen and Fudō
and Gary’s poem
Here are two half-grown black cats perched on a
lump of old teakettle brick plastic garbage
ten feet from the west bank of the River
I won’t save them. Right here Gary sat with dying Nansen,
The broken cat, warped and sick every day of its life,
Puke & drool on the tatami
for Gary to wipe up & scold,
“If you get any worse I’m going to have you put away!”
The vet injected an overdose of nemby and for half an hour
Nansen was comfortable.
How can we do this, how can we live and die?
How does anybody choose for somebody else.
How dare we appear in this Hell-mouth weeping tears,
Busting our heads in ten fragments making vows &
Suzuki Rōshi said, “If I die, it’s all right. If I should
live, it’s all right. Sun-face Buddha, Moon-face Buddha.”
Why do I always fall for that old line?
We don’t treat each other any better. When will I
Stop writing it down.
POSTSCRIPT, 17:IV:69 (from De Visser, Vol. I, pages 197-198), 20th
Commandment of the Brahmajala Sutra (Nanjō 1087): “...always
practice liberation of living beings
(hō jō, )”