Fifteen poems

NY 1934
You might ve thought she
was from Brooklyn when
asked by one of the
journalists: “Why dont
you write the way you
talk?” she replied as
only a Gertrude
Stein would: “Why dont you
read the way I write?”

“The Exercise”
from the height
of the nuns’
temple steps
running down
as the sun
sets to me.

Nothing to be said
nothing being said
Sipping at mountains
watching water fall
People like Rembrandt
make my day. He looks
at me with a faint
smile — without pity
and without contempt.
He knows what I know
and knows I know. Do
you know what it means
just to have a friend?
Tsuji-sensei — that first time
at his house together — up
all night talking in gestures —
unrolled his Tessai scrolls
to show me what he meant — he
meaning himself and Tessai —
and I saw imagined streams —
pure white paper — streaming twice
down the steepest summits in
remotest China — mingling
in a common emptiness
just where we sat on the floor.

None can never have
enough of one.
A man in the woods
a man in the wild.
Pig in the pantry
pork in the pie.
Every snowflake
Any moment
yields as much.
Dont ask more of yourself
than the mirror does.
Perfection breeds contempt.
All truth is in vain.
The bee goes for the honey
despite the rose.
We are the nuts of the money tree.
A life taken
is a life lost.
Who amounts to none
amounts to all.
Each breath is
the breath of a sun.
tall grass light wind bank
high mast lone night boat
star hang flat land vast
moon float big stream flow
name how bright art known
rank due old ill dropped
drift drift what which like
sky earth one sand gull
I picked a
leaf up
it weighed
my vision
I knelt and
placed it
where it was
Just following the
mountain path — discovering 
just this violet
Of course,
life matters.
and let me
know it

a leaf
than the
Pissing in
the river
in the rain.
On the swept pond
snow sets
The goldfish
rest touching
each other.
The sky is
the sky
for a
long time now.

From The Next One Thousand Years, Selected Poems of Cid Corman, edited by Bob Arnold and Ce Rosenow (Longhouse, 2008)