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一休宗純 Ikkyū Sōjun (1394-1481)

Computer graphics by Shikuri Uraji after a portrait of Ikkyū by 墨斎 Bokusai (Motsurin Shōtō, 1412-1492)

Portrait of smiling Ikkyū, computer graphics by 浦地思久理 Shikuri Uraji



Ikkjú, névváltozat: Ikkjú Szódzsun (japánul: 一休宗純, Hepburn-átírással: Ikkyū Sōjun) (1394–1481), a rinzai szektához tartozó zen buddhista szerzetes, költő, a japán teaszertartás egyik megteremtője.
Huszonhat évesen a Biva-tavon meditálva világosodott meg egy varjú károgására. Cselekedetei megosztották kortársait: igen szerette az alkoholt, megvilágosodását követően rendszeresen látogatta a bordélyházakat, a nemi életet mintegy vallási gyakorlatként értelmezve, az újévi ünnepek alkalmával pedig pálcára szúrt koponyát hordott körbe azt kántálva: „Öregszünk, közeleg a halál.” Mindennek ellenére élete végén kinevezték az 1467-től 1477-ig tartó Ónin-háború alatt lerombolt Daitokudzsi templom főapátjává, bár a posztot csak kelletlenül fogadta el. A rinzai szekta történetében egyszerre számít szentnek és eretneknek.

Gy. Horváth László. Japán kulturális lexikon. Corvina. 1999


John Stevens: Ikkjú Szódzsun
Fordította: Szigeti György

Kiliti Joruto: Ikkjú [Legendák Ikkjú életéből]

Bakonyi Berta: Másotok sincs...

Faludy György: Öt vers

Oravecz Imre: Szerzetes a bordélyban

Soós Sándor: Ikkjú élete és művei
[Előszó Oravecz Imre fordításaihoz]

Terebess Gábor: Ikkjú dókáiból, búcsúverse

PDF: Csontváz–dalocskák
Bánfalvi András fordítása


Terebess Gábor címfordításai:

狂雲集 Kyōunshū = Kerge Felhő összegyűjtött versei

骸骨 Gaikotsu = Csontváz-nép

阿弥陀裸物語 Amida hadaka monogatari = Pőre Amida

仏鬼軍 Bukkigun = Buddhák pokoli háborúja

摩訶般若波羅蜜多心経解 Maka hannya haramitta shingyō kai =
A Szív szútra kommentárja

道歌 Dōka = Tanköltemények

道歌 Dōka

Ikkyū's Dōka
Translated by R. H. Blyth

骸骨 Gaikotsu / Skeletons

Ikkyū gaikotsu 一休骸骨
Edition of 1692. Illustrated pages only.
Drawings attributed to Ikkyū himself.

Abe Masao: Ikkyū's Skeletons
Translated by R. H. Blyth & N. A. Waddell

Skeletons by Zen Master Ikkyu
Translated by Thomas F. Cleary

Translated by James H. Sanford

Translated by John Stevens

狂雲集 Kyōunshū / Crazy Cloud Anthology

Versions by Stephen Berg

Versions by Lucien Stryk

Versions by John Stevens

Versions by Sonja Arntzen

Versions by Sarah Messer and Kidder Smith

Ikkyū's death poem

仏鬼軍 Bukkigun

Buddhas' Great War on Hell
Translated by James H. Sanford

阿弥陀裸物語 Amida hadaka monogatari

Amida Stripped Bare
Translated by James H. Sanford

自戒集 Jikaishū

摩訶般若波羅蜜多心経解 Maka hannya haramitta shingyō kai

Ikkyu: Zen Eccentric
by Thomas Hoover

PDF: Zen Radicals, Rebels and Reformers
by Perle Besserman and Manfred Steger
Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1991;
Wisdom Publications, Boston, 2010.


Crow with No Mouth: Ikkyū: Fifteenth-century zen master
Versions by Stephen Berg
Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, WA., 1989


Stephen Berg, founding editor of American Poetry Review, is the author of two dozen books of poetry and translations. He is a professor of English at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Hearing a crow with no mouth
Cry in the deep
Darkness of the night,
I feel a longing for
My father before he was born.

from A Zen Harvest, translated by Sōiku Shigematsu


Harsh, delicate, brilliant, reckless, precise, intimate, ignorant, arrogant, aloof—Ikkyū comes across as a man of simultaneously miserable self-doubt and infinite self-confidence. He is always bent on crushing any ideal of self or conduct, any theory or belief. His core, his “real self ” as it has been called, the “true man of no rank” is an anonymous force whose successive conditions are the same moment-by-moment states of fluid nameless identity we can sense in ourselves. Or say that Ikkyū’s nature and Nature are synonymous. Listening to fishermen, playing with a lover, expounding a fleeting splinter of thought, the man is all there. He is never a “half-filled mask,” Rilke’s term for us when we evade ourselves as we are. Jung’s “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely” is enacted by Ikkyū in the poems that track his life and the life of his mind.

Kawabata calls him “the most severe and profound” teacher, perhaps because he leaves no part of himself unrevealed; because of his attempt at moral, spiritual, and personal inclusiveness. Wherever he is, whoever he is, he is relentlessly frank, naked, sincere, skilled in the uses of suffering. The long explosion of his character continues with equal intensity to the end of his life. Strangers at first, possibly we discovered a lost acquaintance— it happened in a flash, couplet after couplet. They say everyone meets himself in Ikkyū, immediately, in his deep fund of passion.

Without Ikkyū’s poetry in translations by James H. Sanford, Sonja Arntzen, and Jon Carter Covell with Sobin Yamada my versions would not have been possible. Their books explore the man’s life through firm literal English poems and commentaries that became my literary source.

Ikkyū wrote in a four-line form. My couplets (with a few exceptions) came as a necessary skeleton for the work of inspiring a voice whose first notes caught me when I read the scholars’ books. A true essay about what happened between their texts and mine would have to explain at length a process not usually associated with other such ambitious transfigurations. For now, let me thank W.S . Merwin and Lucien Stryk for their suggestions.

—Stephen Berg



Age Eighty Weak
All Koans Just Lead You On
All The Bad Things I Do Will Go Up In Smoke
All The Old Masters Want Is Money And Fame
Alone With The Icy Moon No Passion
Amazingly Sad How Its Blade Mirrors The Years
And It Breaks My Heart How So Easily
And The Nights Inside You Rocking
And What Is The Heart
Another House Has Its Own Path Through The Dark
Anybody Can Enter Buddha's World
At The Bath She Bathed Scrubbing Her Face And Body
A Beautiful Woman's Hot Vagina's Full Of Love
Before Birth After Birth
Believe In The Man Facing You Now
Beloved Wei-shan Wanted To Come Back As A Cow Grazing A Wide Valley
Books Koans Sitting Miss The Heart But Not Fishermen's Songs
Born Born Everything Is Always Born
Break Open The Cherry Tree Where's The Flower?
Break Through One Impasse There's Another Let The Sweet
Brown Ruffle Of Flame Rushes Across My White Paper Diploma
Brush Ink Plunge Forward Blind Man Who Knows Each Step In The Dark
A Butterfly Hovers In Front Of Her Face
Cheap Tea Thin Gruel Pale Leaves As Winter Begins
Chopping Up Herbs Blood Flows From My Hand Into The Block
Chrysanthemums Hammered Out Of Raw Iron
Clouds Endless Clouds Climbing Beyond
Clouds Very High Look
Crazy Cloud Likes His Own Mind Its Wish For Flutesongs Rainy Nights
A Crazy Lecher Shuttling Between Whorehouse And Bar
The Crow's Caw Was Ok But One Night With A Lovely Whore
Cut Off Everything From Everything Stand Here The Soles Of Your Feet
Don't Hesitate Get Laid That's Wisdom
Don't Wait For The Man Standing In The Snow
Don't Worry Please Please How Many Times Do I Have To Say It
Eat The Wind Eat The Water Nobody Can Say How
The Edges Of The Sword Are Life And Death
Empty Belly No Wine It's Freezing
Even Before Trees Rocks I Was Nothing
Even If Buddha Himself Kneeled At My Deathbed
Even In Its Scabbard My Sword
Even Rinzai's Disciples Don't Know
A Flower Held Up Twirled Between Human Fingers
Flowers Are Silent Silence Is Silent The Mind
Flute Notes Bring Gods Demons Only That Music
For Us No Difference Between Reading Eating Singing
Forget What The Masters Wrote Truth's A Razor
Frogs At The Bottom Of A Well Like You Idiot
Fuck Flattery Success Money
The Girl Listening To The Poet Bursting With Poems Thinks Nothing
Go Down On Your Silly Knees Pray
Gravestones Melt To Stumps Of Stone Knobs
Hear The Cruel No-answer Until Blood Drips Down
Her Mouth Played With My Cock
Here I Am Simply Trying To Get Into Your Head
How Is My Hand Like Mori's
Hsu-t'ang Tore Off His Robes Like A Broken Sandal
Hundreds Of Peaks But Only One Lone Bell Out Of Nowhere
I Ask You Answer I Don't You Don't
I Can't Smell A Thing Can't See Their Pink
I Didn't See One Thing On My Trip
I Don't Own A Sewing Needle But I Keep Calligraphy
I Found My Sparrow Sonrin Dead One Morning
I Hate It I Know It's Nothing But I
I Have To Admit My Passion Never Leaves
I Like My Anger My Grouchy Furious Love
I Live In A Shack On The Edge Of Whorehouse Row
I Love Bamboo How It Looks
I Love Taking My New Girl Blind Mori On A Spring Picnic
I Remember One Quiet Afternoon She Fished Out My Cock
I Still Worry About How I Look My Dry White Hair Oh
I Think Of Your Death Think Of Us Touching
I Try To Be A Good Man But All That Comes
I Walked Through The Door Of Death Came Back Went Back Am Here
I Was Like An Old Leafless Tree Until We Met Green Buds Burst And Blossom
I Went Half Crazy Studying Sitting For Days Now The One Thing
I Woke From A Dream Of Death To Day's Amazing
I Won't Die I Won't Go Away I'll Always Be Here
I'd Love To Give You Something
I'd Sniff You Like A Dog And Taste You
I'm Alive! Right? Don't We Say That?
I'm Eighty Still Alive Looking Up Every Night
I'm In It Everywhere
I'm Like Wind Pouring Down Hills Into The City
I'm Pure Shame
I'm Up Here In The Hills Starving Myself
I'm Whole As Long As I Hear You Singing
I've Burnt All The Holy Pages I Used To Carry
Icy Window Windy Snow Moon Tangled Among Black Flowers
If There's Nowhere To Rest At The End
If You Don't Break Rules You're An Ass Not Human
Ikkyū Near Death Returns Your Cloak To You
Ikkyū The Whole Day Singing Boozing So Great So
Ikkyū This Body Isn't Yours I Say To Myself
In A Dazzling Scabbard
In Deep Winter I Write Poems Get Drunk The Cup's Heavier Heavier
In The Freezing Hall One Night In A Flimsy Robe I Hallucinated
In War There's No Time To Teach Or Learn Zen Carry A Strong Stick
Inside The Koan Clear Mind
It Isn't That We're Alone Or Not Alone
It Takes Horseshit To Grow Bamboo
It's A Hungry Morning When I Don't See Her
It's Logical: If You're Not Going Anywhere
Keep Writing Those Deep Questions Sleep On
Know Nothing I Know Nothing Nobody Does Can You Face Me
Life's Like Climbing Knife-trees Hills With Swords Sticking Up
Like A Knifeblade The Moon Will Be Full Then Less
Lin-chi Screamed Katsu! At Precisely The Right Time Gave Life Death
Lin-chi's Followers Don't Know Zen I The Blind Donkey Do
Listen Whose Face Is It A Piece
Lone Moon No Clouds
Long Life
Look Up Heaven Look Around You Earth Red Flesh White Bones Crushed
Melons Eggplants Rice Rivers The Sky
Men Are Like Cows Horses Fuck Poetry
The Mind Is Exactly This Tree That Grass
Mirror Facing A Mirror
My Death? Who Was It Anyway Always Where He Was Never
My Dying Teacher Could Not Wipe Himself Unlike You Disciples
My Friend's Funeral This Morning
My Gray Cat Jumped Up Just As I Lifted This Spoon
My Mind Can't Answer When You Call
My Monk Friend Has A Weird Endearing Habit
My Name Ikkyū's Disgusting Not Dust Yet
Nature's A Killer I Won't Sing To It
Night After Night After Night Stay Up All Night
Night Plum Blossoms Spreading Under A Branch
No Masters Only You The Master Is You
No Money In A Dream Plums Simple And Close
No More Zen Write One Great Line
No Nothing Only Those Wintry Crows
No Tiny Wooden Hut With A Grass Roof In The Hills
No Walls No Roof No Anything My House
No Words Sitting Alone Night In My Hut Eyes Closed Hands Open
Nobody Before Me Nobody After
Nobody Cares About My Hungers Thirsts
Nobody Knows I'm A Storm I'm
Nobody Knows Shit Nobody Lives Anywhere
Nobody Told The Flowers To Come Up Nobody
Nobody Understands My Not No Zen Zen
Nobody Understands Why We Do What We Do
Not Two Not One Either
October Wind Crosses The World
Oh Green Green Willow Wonderfully Red Flower
Oh The Evening Wind Hurries Smoke Our Smoke
Oh Yes Things Exist Like The Echo When You Yell At The Foot Of A
On The Deep Green Lily Pad Dew
Once While She Was Cooking I Kneeled Put My Head Between Her Warm
One Half-thawed Lovesong Chilly As Dusk Remains
One Long Pure Beautiful Road Of Pain
One Of You Saved My Satori Paper I Know It Piece By Piece You
One Pause Between Each Crow's
One White Blossom Snow
One Wisp Rootless Shifting A Dot In The Blue Sky
Only A Kind Deadly Sincere Man
Only One Koan Matters
Outrageous Eyes Ears Nose In The Cold One Silent Tinkling Bell
Passion's Red Thread Is Infinite
Peace Isn't Luck For Six Years Stand Facing A Silent Wall
Pine Needles Inches Deep Hug The Ground
Pleasure Pain Are Equal In A Clear Heart
Plum Blossom Close To The Ground Her Dark Place Opens
Poems Should Come From Bare Ground
Poetry's Hellish Bullshit One Good Way To Suffer Men Love It
Poetry's Ridiculous Write It Feel Proud
Raging In The Now Hungry For It
Rain Drips From The Roof Lip
Rain Hail Snow Ice
Raining Or Not
Rice Boils In My Broken-footed Iron Pot
Rinzai Did It Without A Care
Self Other Right Wrong Wasting Your Life Arguing
Sexual Love's Attachment Pain Is Deeper Than I Can Know
She'd Play With It Almost Anywhere Day And Night
Sick All I Can Think Of Is Love And Fucking The Love Song
Sick Of It Whatever It's Called Sick Of The Names
Sick Zen From The Famous Three You Know Who I Mean
Sin Like A Madman Until You Can't Do Anything Else
Six Years Of Hunger Sitting Like A Secret In Darkness
Skinny Legs Wandering No Friends The Lamppost Moves Not Me Following
So Burning's Knowing And I'm Not Even Drunk On Three Wines
So Many Paths Go Up From The Foothills
So Many Words About It
Some Die Meditating Some On Their Feet But He Did Both
Some Monks Live In Caves Build Huts On Snowy Mountains
Something In Us Always Wants To Cry Out
Sometimes All I Am Is A Dark Emptiness
Stand Tiptoe On The Tip Of A Needle
Stare At It Until Your Eyes Drop Out
Stirring Cold Ashes With His Eyes Shut Tight
Suddenly Nothing But Grief
Sutras Poems I Stash Them Under My Robe Burn Them All
Talk About Family Laws Ideals My Silence Drives Me Mad
Ten Dumb Years I Wanted Things To Be Different Furious Proud I Still
Ten Fussy Days Running This Temple All Red Tape
Ten Years Of Whorehouse Joy I'm Alone Now In The Mountains
That Stone Buddha Deserves All The Birdshit It Gets
They Could Have Put A Small Doll In The Urn
They Do It In The Street In Broad Daylight Like Cows And Horses
They Screw Inside The Temple Call In Students For ”Mysterious Satori”
They Used Sticks And Yells And Other Tricks Those Fakes
Thirsty You Dream Of Water Cold You Want Fire
This Boat Is And Is Not
This Brick House I Live In Is Really The Sky
This Cow Has Come To Teach You: What You Do Is Where You Are
This Donkey Stumbles Blind Over Stones Into Walls Ditches
This Hungry Monk Chanting By Lamplight Is Buddha
This Ink Painting Of Wind Blowing Through Pines
This Morning's Koan's A Poem Tonight People Flock To This Mountain
This Soul Torch I Hold Up Lights The Sky
This Useless Dying Koan Body Singing Its Lust
This World This Thing You And I Call Knowing
Those Old Koans Meaningless Just Ways Of Faking Virtue
Three-foot Axe Leans On The Headsman's Block
Up All Night In This Fisherman's Hut Drinking Talking
Watching My Four-year-old Daughter Dance
We Live In A Cage Of Light An Amazing Cage
We're Lost Born In Delusions Deeper Than Any Mind
We're Lost Where The Mind Can't Find Us
A Well Nobody Dug Filled With No Water
When I Was Forty-seven Everybody Came To See Me
Where You Are Whatever You Do
White-haired Priest In His Eighties
Who Brought These Fish Sizzling In The Pan I'll Never Stop Thinking
Who Teaches Truth? Good/bad The Wrong Way
Why Is It All So Beautiful This Fake Dream
Wife Daughters Friends This Is For You Satori
The Wise Know Nothing At All
A Woman Is Enlightenment When You're With Her And The Red Thread
Yoso Hangs Up Ladles Baskets Useless Donations In The Temple
You Can Hear It When It Doesn't Even Move
You Can't Be Anyone But You
You Can't Make Cherry Blossoms By Tearing Off Petals
You Me When I Think Really Think About It
You Poor Sad Thing Thinking Death Is Real
You Stand Inside Me Naked Infinite Love
You Won't Even Be Here To Read Them
Your Name Mori Means Forest Like The Infinite Fresh
Zen's Finished Stick Your Brain In A Peach Branch Guzzle Sake


age eighty weak
I shit and offer it to Buddha

all koans just lead you on
but not the delicious pussy of the young girls I go down on

all the bad things I do will go up in smoke
and so will I

all the old masters want is money and fame
strike like a feather but when

alone with the icy moon no passion
these trees this mountain nothing else

amazingly sad how its blade mirrors the years
how sadness extends far as the hills and rivers

and it breaks my heart how so easily
smoke rises tonight like the thought of him

and the nights inside you rocking
smelling the odor of your thighs is everything

and what is the heart
pine breeze voice in a forgotten painting

another house has its own path through the dark
what about when moss grows on the heart’s road

anybody can enter Buddha's world
so few can step into the Devil's

at the bath she bathed scrubbing her face and body
at the bath I splashed water on myself enjoying her body

a beautiful woman's hot vagina's full of love
I've given up trying to put out the fire of my body

before birth after birth
that's where you are now

believe in the man facing you now
just narrow your eyes feel the deep love

beloved Wei-shan wanted to come back as a cow grazing in a wide valley
can't you see him munching flowers idling under stars on a windy night

books koans sitting miss the heart but not fishermen's songs
rain pelts the river I sing beyond all of it

born born everything is always born
thinking about it try not to

break open the cherry tree where's the flower?
but spring

break through one impasse there's another let the sweet
lychee slip over your tongue and down.

brown ruffle of flame rushes across my white paper diploma
why tie up the donkey

brush ink plunge forward blind man who knows each step in the dark
the bristles dry dip again brush blind until you’re gone

a butterfly hovers in front of her face
how long will she sleep

cheap tea thin gruel pale leaves as winter begins
this threadbare robe feels fine in the first dawn frost

chopping up herbs blood flows from my hand into the block
no food my teacher mocks me with a smile

chrysanthemums hammered out of raw iron
that cloud gone now just like my father

clouds endless clouds climbing beyond
ask nothing from words on a page

clouds very high look
not one word helped them get up there

Crazy Cloud likes his own mind its wish for flutesongs rainy nights
drinking muttering beside his women

a crazy lecher shuttling back and forth between whorehouse and bar
this past master paints south north east west with his cock

the crow's caw was ok but one night with a lovely whore
opened a wisdom deeper than what that bird said

cut off everything from everything stand here the soles of your feet the ground
your brain in the black nothing between

don't hesitate get laid that's wisdom
sitting around chanting what crap

don't wait for the man standing in the snow
to cut off his arm help him now

don’t worry please please how many times do I have to say it
there’s no way not to be who you are and where.

eat the wind eat the water nobody can say how
I know a man who stood twenty years on Gojo bridge

the edges of the sword are life and death
no one knows which is which

empty belly no wine it's freezing
melody the angel's shining cloak stains the air

even before trees rocks I was nothing
when I'm dead nowhere I'll be nothing

even if Buddha himself kneeled at my deathbed
he wouldn't be worth shit

even in its scabbard my sword
sees you

even Rinzai's disciples don't know
so many ordinary people know but don't know they know
walking to work talking to themselves

a flower held up twirled between human fingers
a smile barely visible

flowers are silent silence is silent the mind
is a silent flower the silent flower of the world opens

flute notes bring gods demons only that music
again the world's biggest ass-man hasn't one friend
his loneliness that music

for us no difference between reading eating singing
making love not one thing or the other

forget what the masters wrote truth's a razor
each instant sitting here you and I being here

frogs at the bottom of a well like you idiot
thrashing in mud laughable so very very right

fuck flattery success money
all I do is lie back and suck my thumb

the girl listening to the poet bursting with poems thinks nothing
but he thinks he wants her leaning on the gate while she just listens

go down on your silly knees pray
for what? tomorrow is yesterday

gravestones melt to stumps of stone knobs
use them to grind tea leaves

hear the cruel no-answer until blood drips down
beat your head against the wall of it

her mouth played with my cock
the way a cloud plays with the sky

here I am simply trying to get into your head
you think you were born you die what a pity

how is my hand like Mori's?
it's her freedom I love when I'm sick she makes me hard
fingers lips rove everywhere brings my followers joy

Hsu-T'ang tore off his robes like a broken sandal
Zen has no center clouds rake the moon some voice claws at my heart

hundreds of peaks but only one lone bell out of nowhere
maple groves tipped by stars fixed above the inlet

I ask you answer I don't you don't
O Lord Bodidharma what's in your unknown heart

I can't smell a thing can't see their pink
but they'll find branches next spring

I didn't see one thing on my trip
but I breathed and whatever I breathed was time

I don't own a sewing needle but I keep calligraphy
in a special box given by my dying friend

I found my sparrow Sonrin dead one morning
and buried him just as gently as I would my own daughter

I hate it I know it's nothing but I
suck out the world's sweet juicy plum

I have to admit my passion never leaves
fire is the master young grasses appear each spring

I like my anger my grouchy furious love
amazing how we say such nice things about the dead

I live in a shack on the edge of whorehouse row
me autumn a single candle

I love bamboo how it looks
and because men carve it into flutes

I love taking my new girl blind Mori on a spring picnic
I love seeing her exquisite free face its moist sexual heat shine

I remember one quiet afternoon she fished out my cock
bent over played with it in her mouth for at least an hour

I still worry about how I look my dry white hair oh
age wanting to fuck but I'll sing no matter how things are

I think of your death I think of our touching
my head quiet in your lap

I try to be a god man but all that comes
of trying is I feel more guilty

I walked through the door of death came back went back am here
brisk wind warm rain dawn the bleached moon

I was like an old leafless tree until we met green buds burst and blossom
now that I have you I’ll never forget what I owe you

I went half crazy studying sitting for days now the one thing
is fishermen's songs sunset rain clouds the river night after night

I woke from a dream of death to day's amazing
death grass death rice death chairs death death asleep or awake

I won't die I won't go away I'll always be here
no good asking me I won't speak

I'd love to give you something
but what would help?

I'd sniff you like a dog and taste you
then kiss your other mouth endlessly if I could white hair or not

I'm alive! right? don't we say that?
we don't see the bones we walk on

I’m eighty still alive looking up every night
snapping my fingers at time at the promise of love

I’m in it everywhere.
what a miracle trees lakes clouds even dust

I'm like wind pouring down hills into the city
whatever I do is beyond whatever's been done

I'm pure shame
what I do and what I say never the same

I’m up here in the hills starving myself
but I’ll come down for you

I'm whole as long as I hear you singing
then emptiness when you stop

I've burnt all the holy pages I used to carry
but poems flare in my heart

icy window windy snow moon tangled among black flowers
the mind is water wrapping itself where it is around what what what
never the same

if there's nowhere to rest at the end
how can I get lost along the way?

if you don't break rules you're an ass not human
women start us passion comes and goes until death

Ikkyū near death returns your cloak to you
slash it in half and it's still yours

Ikkyū the whole day singing boozing so great so
fully here he built a bridge no one uses 10,000 miles long

Ikkyū this body isn't yours I say to myself
wherever I am I'm there

in a dazzling scabbard
this wooden sword
which can't kill or help you to live

in deep winter I write poems get drunk the cup's heavier heavier moon
whispering all night even at sixty I'm hard in her again and again

in the freezing hall one night in a flimsy robe I hallucinated gold-threaded cloth
it hung in the air uselessly

in war there's no time to teach or learn Zen carry a strong stick
bash your attackers

inside the koan clear mind
gashes the great darkness

it isn't that we're alone or not alone
whose voice do you want mine? yours?

it takes horseshit to grow bamboo
and it too longs forever weeps begs to the wind

it's a hungry morning when I don't see her
more and more I love her and drink wine more

it's logical: if you are not going anywhere
any road is the right one

keep writing those deep questions sleep on
when you wake even you'll be gone

know nothing I know nothing nobody does can you face me
and know nothing know

life's like climbing knife-tree hills with swords sticking up
day and night something stabs you

like a knifeblade the moon will be full then less
than nothing but it`s dawn and the moon`s a knifeblade

Lin-chi screamed KATSU! at precisely the right time gave life death KATSU!
eyes everywhere blazing blazing eyes sun moon KATSU! KATSU!

Lin-chi’s followers don’t know Zen I the Blind Donkey do
my tongue and gentle fingers thick hard cock
one autumn night’s a thousand centuries

listen whose face is it a piece
of sunlit jade warbling laughing

lone moon no clouds
we stumble through the night

long life
the wild pines want it too

look up Heaven look around you Earth red flesh white bones crushed
between both the real you survives

melons eggplants rice rivers the sky
I offer them to you on this holiday

men are like cows horses fuck poetry
look at your hand read it

the mind is exactly this tree that grass
without thought or feeling both disappear

mirror facing mirror
nowhere else

my death? who was it anyway always where he was never
no not once ever seeing himself an eyeball speaks

my dying teacher could not wipe himself unlike you disciples
who use bamboo I cleaned his lovely ass with my bare hands

my friend's funeral this morning
burns inside me like my own death

my gray cat jumped up just as I lifted this spoon
we're born we die

my mind can’t answer when you call
if it did I’d be stealing your life from you

my monk friend has a wierd endearing habit
he weaves sandals and leaves them secretly by the roadside

my name Ikkyū's disgusting not dust yet
it should be swept away and will be

nature's a killer I won't sing to it
I hold my breath and listen to the dead singing under the grass

night after night after night stay up all night
nothing but your own night

night plum blossoms spreading under a branch
between her thighs narcissus revolves smell it?

no masters only you the master is you
wonderful no?

no money in a dream plums simple and close
five thousand coins in a row in a dream of power

no more Zen write one great line
like a needle piercing a sore spot on your arm

no nothing only those wintry crows
bright black in the sun

no tiny wooden hut with a grass roof in the hills
but this city these people where I live still are impossible

no walls no roof no anything my house
doesn't get wet doesn't get blown down

no words sitting alone night in my hut eyes closed hands open
wisps of an unknown face

nobody before me nobody after
writing it

nobody cares about my hungers thirsts
smash the plum blossom's one night's ice

nobody knows I'm a storm I'm
dawn on the mountain twilight on the town

nobody knows shit nobody lives anywhere
hello dust!

nobody told the flowers to come up nobody
will ask them to leave when spring’s gone

nobody understands my no Zen Zen
not even that crow's shattering bleak scream got it

nobody understands why we do what we do
this cup of sake does

not two not one either
and the unpainted breeze in the ink painting feels cool

October wind crosses the world
in this field moist grass bends to itself and to the sea

oh green green willow wonderfully red flower
but I know the colors are not there

oh the evening wind hurries smoke our smoke
into the sky

oh yes things exist like the echo when you yell at the foot of a
huge mountain

on the deep green lily pad dew
has no color of its own

once while she was cooking I kneeled put my head between her warm dark legs
up her skirt kissed and licked and sucked her until she came

one half-thawed lovesong chilly as dusk remains
my life stalking hills now these shameful purple robes

one long pure beautiful road of pain
and the beauty of death and no pain

one of you saved my satori paper I know it piece by piece you
pasted it back together now watch me burn it once and for all

one pause between each crow's
reckless shriek Ikkyū Ikkyū Ikkyū

one white blossom snow
razor-edged mountains slice my belly

one wisp rootless shifting a dot in the blue sky
know it

only a kind deadly sincere man
can show you the way here in the other world

only one koan matters

outrageous eyes ears nose in the cold one silent tinkling bell
clear beautiful nudged by the wind hangs over the polished railing

passion's red thread is infinite
like the earth always under me

peace isn't luck for six years stand facing a silent wall
until the you of your face melts like a candle

pine needles inches deep hug the ground
no one lives here

pleasure pain are equal in a clear heart
no mountain hides the moon

plum blossom close to the ground her dark place opens
wet with the dew of her passion wet with the lust of my tongue

poems should come from bare ground
night falling on night falling on a black landscape

poetry's hellish bullshit one good way to suffer men love it
men stupid as horses cows

poetry's ridiculous write it feel proud
strut look in the mirror believe you know

raging in the now hungry for it
crows rattle the air no dust

rain drips from the roof lip
loneliness sounds like that

rain hail snow ice
I love watching the river

raining or not
walk lifting your heavy wet sleeves

rice boils in my broken-footed iron pot
it’s everything but you can’t taste it

Rinzai did it without a care
no clouds wind sky a heart that simply sings

self other right wrong wasting your life arguing
you're happy really you are happy

sexual love's attachment pain is deeper that I can know
wind soothes my thoughts this lust my ceaseless koan
impossibly happy

she’d play with it almost anywhere day and night
touch it with the deepest part of herself

sick all I can think of is love and fucking the love song
hums in my groin listen my hair’s white wild grasses uncut on my meadow

sick of it whatever it's called sick of the names
I dedicate every pore to what's here

sick Zen from the famous three you know who I mean
I can change your life with a mere look

sin like a madman until you can't do anything else
no room for any more

six years of hunger sitting like a secret in darkness
his bones pierced with the less-and-less the near-nothing

skinny legs wandering no friends the lamppost moves not me following
my song money is power spring the cuckoo weeps blood inside me

so burning’s knowing and I’m not even drunk on three wines
plunge into the fire reality pure endless pain

so many paths go up from the foothills
but one moon grazes the peak

so many words about it
the only language is you don't open your lips

some die meditating some on their feet but he did both
not black not white that old man P’u-K’o
like a distant bird barely audible

some monks live in caves build huts on snowy mountains
right now clouds flee across the moon my heart

something in us always wants to cry out
someone we love knows hears

sometimes all I am is dark emptiness
I can't hide in the sleeves of my own robes

stand tiptoe on the tip of a needle
like a grain of sand flashing in sunlight

stare at it until your eyes drop out
this desk this wall this unreal page

stirring cold ashes with his eyes shut tight
another student weeps into the sparks

suddenly nothing but grief
so I put on my father's old ripped raincoat

sutras poems I stash them under my robe burn them all
but not words written on my heart

talk about family laws ideals my silence drives me mad
without passion and ignorance none of it works

ten dumb years I wanted things to be different furious proud I still feel it
one summer midnight in my little boat on Lake Biwa caaaawwweeeee
father when I was a boy you left us now I forgive you

ten fussy days running this temple all red tape
look me up if you want to in the bar whorehouse fish market

ten years of whorehouse joy I'm alone now in the mountains
the pines are like a jail the wind scratches my skin

that stone Buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets
I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind

they could have put a small doll in the urn
but it was my father's ashes
know nothing I know nothing nobody does can you face me and know nothing know

they do it in the street in broad daylight like cows and horses
it’s late the moon goes under west of Ch’ang-an

they screw inside the temple call in students for “mysterious satori”
only I teach like the seasons

they used sticks and yells and other tricks those fakes
Ikkyū reaches high low like sunlight

thirsty you dream of water cold you want fire
not me I want the firm warm breasts and wetness of a woman

this boat is and is not
When it sinks both disappear

this brick house I live in is really the sky
and just as priceless

this cow has come to teach you: what you do is where you are
where you are is what you do: nobody knows which monk I was

this donkey stumbles blind over stones into walls, ditches
no words for grief or joy no words for his ruined heart

this hungry monk chanting by lamplight is Buddha
and he still thinks of you

this ink painting of wind blowing through pines
who hears it?

this morning's koan's a poem tonight people flock to this mountain
I live the problem ignore poor birds pleading for food

this soul torch I hold up lights the sky
think of those nights freezing staring into the river

this useless dying koan body singing its lust
weeds not yet cleared everywhere

this world this thing you and I call knowing
those ten words these fifty-four-year-old fingers are everything

those old koans meaningless just ways of faking virtue
this gorgeous young whore wears silk robes that hang open about an inch

three-foot axe leans on the headsman's block
cuts through deep feelings April

up all night in this fisherman’s hut drinking talking
his wife hates me bangs her spoon on the kettle

watching my four-year-old daughter dance
I can't break free of her

we live in a cage of light an incredible cage
animals animals without end

we're lost born in delusions deeper than any mind
if you could escape awakening you'd ripen like a pear all by itself

we're lost where the mind can't find us
utterly lost

a well nobody dug filled with no water
ripples and a shapeless weightless man drinks

when I was forty-seven everybody came to see me
so I walked out forever

where you are whatever you do
hearing a stalk struck remember bamboo remembers nothing

white-haired priest in his eighties
Ikkyū still sings aloud each night to himself to the sky to the clouds
because she gave herself freely
her hands her mouth her breasts her long moist thighs

who brought these fish sizzling in the pan I’ll never stop thinking
about women white hair lust sings through my body weeds everywhere

who teaches truth? good/ bad the wrong way
Crazy Cloud knows the taste of his own shit
long love letters brief passionate poems

why is it all so beautiful this fake dream
this craziness why?

wife daughters friends this is for you satori
is mistake after mistake

the wise know nothing at all
well maybe one song

a woman is enlightenment when you're with her and the red thread
of both your passions flare inside you and you see

Yōsō hangs up ladles baskets useless donations in the temple
my style’s a straw raincoat strolls by rivers and lakes

you can hear it when it doesn't even move
you can hear it when the wind forces itself past rocks

you can't be anyone but you
therefore you are that Other one you love

you can't make cherry blossoms by tearing off petals
to plant only spring does that

you me when I think really think about it
are the same

you poor sad thing thinking death is real
all by itself

you stand inside me naked infinite love
the dawn bell rips my dreaming heart

you won't even be here to read them
what stupidity to put these words into your mouth

your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh
green distances of your blindness

Zen's finished stick your brain in a peach branch guzzle sake
sing until you have no throat then words come by themselves