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No One’s Beat Samsara and Other Poems

No One’s Beat Samsara

You just can’t win vs. that Wheel of Birth & Death
when you have women, mojo and looks, something else
will be missing—your teeth haven’t all been accounted for and now
an ex is asking for help digging out her car—there’s poverty ahead
and in the rear those trees you felled with the toy hatchet Dad bought
at Woolworth’s just won’t go away—too many branches poke at you like
the burrs your cat leaves in your clean underwear drawer that scratch
reminding you thought you once had it all…squirrels had less nuts, your hair grew
fountains of broken hearts, you drove Miss Luxury around in her limo while she made
it rain green paper everywhere and each white powder was golden
on the other side of dawn…
You wanted more, took up divination for fun and profit but went broke investing
in yesterdays that no longer paid the long-shot odds so-called experts like Dad
went broke on, long before you had the scratch or the itch to get rid of.

In the Dungeon

In the dungeon of the Dominatrix
are industrial tie-downs where men, mostly
pay to be bound and spanked
stretched on the Catherine Wheel
winched aloft like trussed fowl
secured in a stainless-steel Rottweiler cage
left for hours at $350 per...
		Black walls and 7-day candles 
(Madonna of the Lottery Numbers, Satan Stoppers)


A client is forced by Mistress Cruella
to cross-dress (she keeps a variety:   
French Maid, School Girl, Smart Business Suit)
and go shopping at the downtown L.A. Ralph’s Super Market
—then must answer her cell-call
in front of stroller pushing matrons and hair-net cool 
Vatos: Oye! Mira, maricon!


Who does this?
High priced lawyers, CEOs with too much power 
need to surrender, pay to be humiliated—
a Popsicle up the pooper
—then eat it.


Driving the nation’s oldest freeway in Pasadena, California 
Cruella the Dominatrix, behind the wheel of her restored
jet black ’69 Cadillac, answers her cell phone:
	“Oh, that’s right…no, I forgot. Are you there now?
	Okay, I’ll meet you in half an hour,” she says flatly.
		(she has forgotten to meet her client)
“It’s okay,” she laughs, “he needs to know how
insignificant he is—forgetting our appointment
is just what he needs.  He’s been getting too dependent.  
This will show him.”


Cruella’s new colleague, conversant with medical 
terminology, dresses as Nurse, administers enemas to 
“bad boys” who are then sent home, bowels full 
wrapped in diapers
—anxious about leather car seats.


In the gardens of the Self Realization
Fellowship, high above the canyons
and valleys of the City of Angels
Cruella, dressed all in black, is shown
the tree where Swami Yogananda gathered 
his disciples to meditate.   
The guide, middle aged pale yellow robed woman
eagerly whispers, pointing out everything 
under the pure, gray smog.


At Jumbo’s Clown Room—the “cool” topless club near 
Hollywood where aging Brit Rockers stuff dollar bills 
In the g-strings of tired dancers
—Cruella orders a drink, complains to the friendly
waitress because it’s weak—black eyes dart ominously
“That’s bull—they don’t have a computer that 
measures the alcohol, they’re just cheap!”
		One of the dancers
a light skinned Black, intricate stretch marked thighs
dances an intricate routine involving a book
glasses and a song about school and teachers.
		The guy in front who can’t light his cigarette 
fumbles, stares into the space beyond her gyrating
pelvis, beyond her red heart pasties.


Next door to the dungeon is a light airy room
	a cream colored stainless steel coffin on a stand, satin lined
—exact same model as my own mother’s four months ago
	—shock of red white roses, carnations her waxy repose...
		“Would you care to climb inside?”
Cruella politely offers.
		Outside patio door, the blue bright
pool-eye glitters.


The way two mouths open to eat or kiss

The way it intrigues us, this opening in which tongues 
are not seen but felt, saliva working into ready 
working to inhale the other, to consume with sorrow 
all that is left and will be	
	This desire dictates direction
the way two mouths might hang, might hover over the other
	ready to open, ready to kiss lick or other the other in 
	hopes of being swallowed whole, utterly gone in them…

You never lose track, you never took it 
for granted when she inhaled you with her kiss
and what sustains you through the pain of not having 
the pain of not being influenced, is like luck happened but didn’t 
and still carries on like a blessing in disguise because
	when there is no more her, without a word you open your 
	mouth and put food in, open your mouth for burning balm 
	open your mouth to yell or cry
	—either one is nourishing and sustains—
the direction a mouth might fall open for the breath of another
	which gift we receive when young as a right 
		when old is benediction.

–Peter Marti


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7 thoughts on “No One’s Beat Samsara and Other Poems

  1. These 3 poems about the hopelessness of desire by Peter Marti speak to one another in a way that goes deep into the body and illuminate us with his many decade Buddhist practice in the art of crazy wisdom. My condolences on the passing of the poet’s mother.

  2. Three poems that are not easy on the mind. They speak to the suffering of being human, the animal, the flesh of us all. Peter Marti continues to speak from a deep place, and we are better for it.

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