Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Shit-Stick

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Shit-Stick

Article excerpt

he had read so much Zen it was coming out of his ears did nothing ruined his common sense confused irritated infuriated

he knew he had gone to it because of pain bought all the books underlined arrowed starred bracketed memorized forgot picked out passages that struck a chord flotsam and jetsom of salvation

he knew he was trying to ward off life the whole enlightenment shtick sucked him in he sat he half-closed his eyes he let thoughts float in out across down up

he even believed for very brief moments that it had happened he was there he knew what he knew in a very deep way but then immediately he would be who he was again the same old stupid ordinary Steve

he for years probably read every day something from those texts usually early each morning first thing before coffee or while he made it what an asshole he thought what great stuff he thought what insanity fun trash epitome of wisdom

he wanted to fathom his place in the universe especially given death yes of course the great amazing pain in the ass death the sexual thrill the time-eater death the word of words the the horrible mommy-maw of no more me

he read one day that if anything bothered you all you had to do was invoke the phrase "a dried shit-stick" hold it in your mind one of many instructions koans coocoo ideas imbedded in the tradition

he forgot it he bumped into it now and then until one day he found himself repeating the phrase automatically God! …

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