2 poems
by Megan Martin

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sat nam.[2]


Typed meditation. 
Cereal meditation. 
Off-the-hook telephone meditation. 
Meditation of bloodletting, loss-of-marbles, soufflé. 
I have burnt the edges off this one, burnt em clean off.


om namah bhagavate vasudevaya.[3]

Molly would say I am making a meditation out of a moleskull, but her Larry meditates only on fishhooks; lover Reynaldo on discoloration of elbow.


om namah shivaya.[4]

Clothespin meditation? 

            I-love-my-mother-in-law meditation. 

Meditation via harassment via diabolical dogtooth.   


so ham.[5]

The grand idea of meditation! 


aham brahmasmi.[6] 

I have always wanted to slash Larry’s jugular meditation. 


shanti shanti shanti [7]

Meditation-in-peaces while driving off that [stranger X enters, stage left, wearing holy mittens, hands more brutal than any I remember.  Stranger X of course did not meditate at all, thinking it tyrannical and too trendy. X has always been an asshole and always will be, therefore I love him all the more; therefore I behead the paper dolls for him and him alone] cliff again.


gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha[8]

If only the world were disinhabited entirely, meditation could be such a jiffy!


tat tuan asmi.[9]

I weave a meditation out of tinfoil and leave it in the street for somebody else to weather.





[1] The sound of the Universe

[2] Truth

[3] I surrender to/join with the divine will

[4] phoenix rising, creation born of change. Transformation.

[5] Life/Death, light/shadow, inhalation/exhalation - the yin and yang - the integration of opposites (this is a beautiful and powerful mantra, honoring both the light and the shadow)

[6] I am the creative force

[7] Peace peace peace

[8] Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment hail!


My Guru




This morning my horoscope advised me to look at the world as it is, without imposing my beliefs on it. 

A man stands on the streetcorner, chewing glass like candy, blood waterfalling out his mouth.  Arms of steel: literally.  Sign says: Guru of Blood and Pain.

I am no revolutionary, I say.  I’ve just been feeling unbearably sad lately.

Hong Kong, he says, tickles my left armpit with his metal hook, draws blood.

Next thing I know he’s pushing a clawful of bloody glass at my face.

I would really rather have a cookie.  A nice soft cookie full of peanut butter, or Minnesota, or nothing.

Pretend it’s a cookie of glass.

I don’t believe in cookies of glass.

Then don’t pretend.

He opens my jaws wider, wider yet, so wide I’m not sure whether I’m screaming or swallowing myself whole.




Later, in bed with my guru, I have a lot of questions.  He allows me no bandages, no aspirins.  He is cruel, my guru, cold and silent, but my guru can fuck.  My mouth is an open wound, and I write questions for him on a chalkboard.

Why THE FUCK would one choose to eat glass?

Because one has lost his arms.

Why THE FUCK have you lost your arms?

Since childhood, I’d wanted a hook for a hand.

I don’t like that story.  Tell me another.

Gurus do not have stories.  I will tell you someone else’s.  Once there was a woman.  Once there was a man.  Etc.


One night the woman cut the man’s arms off while he slept.  She ran off with them, and buried them in the core of the earth.  The man wandered the earth, searching for his lost arms.  He never found them again. 

Who was she?

She liked to de-fruit the markets with beetleshells lodged in her hair, with fires writhing underskin.  In other words she was a cunt.

What happened to the man?

He got distracted.  Then he got distracted again.  He forgot he’d ever had arms, or a woman.  He became a guru, because gurus have no stories.  Now shut your mind and go to sleep.





We crawled through a hole in the burnt-out building.  The diner wasn’t where it used to be.  I said it had never been there.  He said he begged to differ.

Pitch dark; he said I had smart wrists.  I asked him to brush the ash from my teeth and he refused.

In that case there is no connection here.

For the sake of argument I beg to differ.

He offered an orange.  I grabbed and he took it back.  He offered parakeet, fireplace, rowboat, winning lottery ticket.  He offered a warm slice of coconut cream pie.  All pulled from inside his jacket—the kind private I’s wear.

I reached.  I kept reaching despite myself.  There is a rhythm here, I kept saying.  There is a trick.

Back in the glen, appletrees were bursting with disappointment, throwing up fireworks of wormy pulp. 

I offered an apple.  I offered dove, Panama, sailboat, perfect pitch.  I offered the banana milkshake he’d been wanting after all morning.  I took back, and I took back again.

When I put a finger in his ear to examine it, I couldn’t see inside.




I am trying to make my guru jealous by telling him a story about a dream I had about another armless man. 

In the dream I was the only woman allowed to touch the arms.  I removed them, and rubbed a golden ointment into the shoulder sockets.

In the morning his arms had branched and bloomed.  In the morning he had soft flowercups for hands, and their petals stretched like fingers to receive my softness.  Each time he touched me, petals fell off, so delicate he was.  But at night they grew back again, even softer than before.

My guru said I told too many stories that weren’t true.  He told me to go to sleep and have a different dream.

But my dream was always the same.  What I did for him in the dream was the only thing I had done for anybody in such a long time.  I was in awe of my facility, my strength, my faith.

I awoke to cold metal on my back, cold metal deep inside me.  It was not just the arms: my guru’s whole body was like metal.   







How does one rhumba again with all this soapscum clogging her stockings?

There is a red box in each of us raising heaven.  (My guru erected a lopsided handstand.)

When there’s not a needle in the haystack left to pine after?


What the hell language is this?

That bullet came a century ago, said my guru. Yet you still hold it in your heart.  TRANSLATION: Get over it!

Why don’t you reach for it? For me?  Why don’t you try resurrecting me with some wisdom like every other guru? 

He shot me in the foot and whistled himself deeper into the woods.  He was always whistling Schoenburg, my guru, so that I wanted to tear open his throat with my hands.




The night I was ready to leave, I tugged at my guru’s arms in his sleep.  We had supped on whiskey and stale bread and he belched without flinching. 

The arms were fused to stubborn tendon, hard bone.  They would not change, the arms.  They would never be the arms he was born with.  I would not remove them.  I was capable of no salve.  They could not save me.

At that moment I fell in love.