Friday, July 31, 2009

Dharma Bums at the Ugly Parlour.

The Piccolo Bar is the opposite of a beauty parlour, it doesn't take long there before things turn ugly, anyway beauty often comes from a bottle, ugliness is more truthful, the human condition, flawed and real, the Piccolo is so ugly it's beautiful, my latest zen koan. Vitto knits in his corner like Madame Lafarge at the French guillotine, like Rumplestiltskin weaving gold from straw, like Yoda the Jedi warrior brandishing a light-sword with his third eye, like a stoic atop his plinth out in public day in day out, like Li Po the Taoist monk spouting poetry from under a grungy bridge, with the ultimate Buddhist compassion and generosity, giving away the many gifts delivered to him at the Cafe, especially the books, so many books dumped there, for all the book junkies like me that hang around the arty-farty hotspot.

The latest book I snapped up off the table is Jack Kerouac's "The Dharma Bums" and it's sent me into a zen swoon, it's my favourite of his books, I last read it when I was a teenager and it influenced me greatly, I hitched across Auz and around the world, meditated under trees by rivers atop mountains and got high on the starry heavens and wrote poetry on the wind. And then, like Jack, I got old, tired and cynical and lost my way. Thankfully I didn't become a drunk and kill myself young like that dear, poor genius master, I've no taste for booze or genius, maybe genius kills young. I'm more like a Neanderthal in a cave watching the shadows cast by the flames of my campfire, I still seek out the light, as I head towards my dotage I might even calm down and find the Void in the tubulence swirling around me.

My nights are now still, Cursula next door got given the hard word, three strikes and you're out, she creeps in once a week, Bawl must've finally moved out of his parent's house and rented a room and next door is just used as storage for all her dumpster-diving trash. And the nutter upstairs started throwing rocks and bottles from his balcony at those passing below and the cops seem to have taken him away as silence reigns and I am free to contemplate the miracle of consciousness in the deep of the night.

For all the devils I've met on my long road I still find life an exquisite experience and get a satori every other second, sunshine, starlight, friend's smile, dog's lick, music beat, bike ride with breeze in my face, the illusion is beautiful, Mind is wondrous, and ugliness is interesting. I've always been an unashamed dharma bum, not interested in fame, money, possessions, achievements, history would stop if it depended on me. I thrive on EXPERIENCE.

If the worst came to the worst and I was evicted, bankrupted and friendless, I would hit the road, sleep in ditches, camp by billabongs, like I did when I was fearlessly young, I was never happier than in those wandering times, and when it's all behind me I'll wander again, nirvanic, and all those dickheads who fucked me, you know who you are, for all the lies, continue eating shit, like you've always done. Ha ha ha, I have divine madness, I'm an ugly dharma bum.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.