Two Poems by Mark Liebenow

On the Discernment of Beings

in the Nine Levels of the Bardo


Hey, Chuang Tsu,

where’d you go?


Hey, Chuang Tsu,

where’d you go?


Have you found

your becoming?


Clang.  Clang.  Clang.


Who can figure it out?

Real deep Bardo.


Whack a Mole


There’s no moral

without the other guy.


Drive to the back forty

blackberry patch.


Stuff the source of joy

into your mouth.

Eat your belief

that all berries

are sacred,

all people created

with limits to pain.


Needles slide in

like warm butter.

Pith the purple cloud

behind the eyes,

stir coagulated,

synaptic nerves.


Confess to mother

your sins.

She’s pleased

to whack

the tack further in

to teach a lesson:


life is pain.


That’s all

we hope the other guy