When Panshan Baoji was near death, he said to the monks, “Is there anyone among you who can draw my likeness?”
Many of the monks made drawings for Panshan, but none were to his liking.
The monk Puhua stepped forward and said, “I can draw it.”
Panshan said, “Why don’t you show it to me?”
Puhua then turned a somersault and went out.
Panshan said, “Someday, that fellow will teach others in a crazy manner!”
Having said these words, Panshan passed away.

“He [Thelonious Monk] played each note as though astonished by the previous one, as though every touch of his fingers on the keyboard was correcting an error and this touch in turn became an error to be corrected and so the tune never quite ended up the way it was meant to.” — Geoff Dyer, But Beautiful


The critics outside of criticism feel unscalable,
I said.

And he let down the rope ladder from the treehouse.
I climbed

up and selected a cigar, posed to me in the humidor.
And smoked

it as he spoke. What I mean to say is that
I am

wowed by how starchy this pear has become.
Which pear?

you ask. The pear of literature, made stiff
by those

who think they’re in the know. They’re wrong!
The way

to go, he continued, picking apart a leaf, is
to cut

loose: to unbung the still hole in the world’s core.