The Illumined Feet
David Esperanza Cole
dPress 2006 Sebastopol
28 pp hand sewn
Shazaam! I who ever am
Master of what is
and what is not proclaim
the truth based on
my own experience.
This is the truth.
It is food for the mind.
Beware of Death. Ignorance
is another matter. Solid. Palpable. Like a piece
of lava you can hold in your hand.
This is the first sermon of Shazaam,
Master of Light and Dark.
Shazaam, Master of Light and Dark,
no fool, found the way into her drawers.
He stuck it in her from behind.
Subject. Verb. Object. Preposition. And her?
She thought, "He's in me, but I can't see him.
This must be the Mystery."
"Is that all," she said, finally? Fucked
again. On her back. Legs apart.
"This is the Mystery," he said. (Li-
ar.) "Liar," she said. And he, "What
would you like?
A piece of my heart
to take home as a souvenir?"
"How can he
get away with that?"
How can he get away with that?
This is a Mystery
only if you believe in
what Shazaam preached.
Justice and Truth.
Shazaam! I, Master of Past and Present,
am guilty of no sin. I act in freedom. Results
do not attach themselves to me.
My heart and mind are as polished stone;
nothing clings. Nothing passes
in or out.
Simple, they call me. Simply my name
is pronounced. Was I so simple,
giving myself to the Master?
He, about whom the universe seemed to turn,
put it in me. Now,
I will know the truth, I thought,
and if not now, when?
Betrayal! The harpies cried from the branches--
the Master is betrayed. Simply lied.
Simple lies spread against our Master.
Jesus Crucified, yet not broken!
Like a Mighty Fortress
will he smile upon us. The Faithful.
With fortress walls are we guarded.
Guarded our thoughts.
Guarded our speech and sight.
Enemies abound. There is no rest
for the righteous. Today I am faithful.
Tomorrow I myself may be the enemy.
If you give in to doubts, you are lost.
Narrow the path, long and hard,
who among you can pretend your own strength
is enough? Your own mind is the enemy.
Be vigilant. Be faithful. In the end
I will see you through.
Thus spoke Shazaam
confounding light and dark.
What he called the dark,
they cried, is finally the light,
and the path a dry wash.
Shazaam is smirched.
You, the faithful, are lost
in a cloud of your own making.
He, whom we called Master, has betrayed us.
We, whom you call the fallen,
grope in palpable light and dark.
One thing is for sure, darkness abounds.
If you don't watch out for yourself
Shazaam will. Mistakes do seem to happen.
There's light in the world
but who knows how to use it?
Ignorance, the blind hag, saves no one.
Look both ways before you cross the street.
Shazaam's Progress/Information Disease
follow the disciplines.
The path never fails.
Do not fail the path.
Look neither to the left nor right.
Though you can't see it,
the goal is in front of you.
Trust me. I am certainly there.
Look at me. Can't you tell?
Shazaam says, look nowhere else.
On this path you must learn to choose.
Temptation is everywhere.
I am here. Expose yourself to doubt
and you are lost. After treading this path
worldly joy turns to ash on your tongue.
Shazaam asks: How can you understand life?
Your own mind deludes you.
How can you solve your problems?
Like the Hydra's heads they are endless.
Attack the source, extract the roots,
still the mind. Listen to me.
I know your mind better than you.
Shazaam in his wisdom understands all thought.
Shazaam in his compassion understands all failure.
Shazaam loves you more than you love yourself.
Give your meager love to Shazaam and he will teach you.
Keep nothing for yourself. To learn from Shazaam
is the greatest treasure. When you have tasted
Shazaam's heart, you will be whole. What are you now?
I, the great Shazaam, love you
more than all those you have ever known.
We are a family unto ourselves.
Tarry on the path and you will fall behind.
Give all your heart to this great endeavor
and you cannot fail. How many times
do I have to tell you? We have left the shore.
Stay close to me. Don't have an accident.
How many births have you endured?
How many are the creatures that tread the earth?
How often in the countless ages
do you have the opportunity to study
at the feet of an illumined teacher?
Your own endeavor and good karma
have blessed you and brought you here.
Don't throw it away. Thus spoke Shazaam.
Look at me. I appear small, but the earth
turns beneath my feet. I appear simple,
but who can fathom my heart? I appear
an ordinary man, but no one is like me.
I know what you do not know. I know
who I am, and I know who you are.
I know we are all pure, all light, all life.
When your vision is like mine, you will see it too.
Follow the disciplines. Trust me.
I have realized my eternal nature.
What more could I want for myself?
The sages say, when a man's heart is pure,
all his desires are selfless.
Look at me. Look with your heart.
Don't lose the light.
Shazaam's pure hands touch
the inside of your thighs.
Shazaam's holy fingers fondle your breasts.
Shazaam's illumined mind will know
your innermost secret.
How lucky you are!