HOW TO MEDITATE
To learn to do nothing, first you must do something
like read that Elizabeth Bishop poem about the gas station,
or drink cranberry juice straight.
You must sing, “Old Dan Tucker / You’re too late to get your supper”
while walking backwards around a kitchen table.
You must be vivid, like polka dots
and the kind of bicycle horn you squeeze and it goes “Ooga!”
No white shirts and white blouses for you. You must
avoid slipping into anything that’s comfortable
like your favorite expressions of “Damn!” and “Double damn!”
and “I’m home!” To learn to do nothing,
you must come from somewhere other than a shopping mall
and you must be evocative as a mandolin in a bluegrass band,
for only then can you calm down
into an opposite, into a just barely breathing,
a frame around a frame around a frame,
ad infinitum. And you float, like silk on water.
-Dick Allen (from Boulevard)