Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On a higher plane 
(Red-eye flight, Brooklyn to Dharamsala)

I popped up suddenly in my seat on the jet
wide awake from a dream and though 
this isn’t confessional poetry
it was all true, what I’d just had a dream about. 

In the dream I saw it all again; 1980
I got married in the red and yellow countryside
in Fall, my favorite season 
surrounded by Her and her extended family, 
all these new people, my family now. 
Finally - my own wife, plus a mother, father, sister, and
brother - it felt like it would be forever … 
but then in 1984 I turned homeless in Boston
in the Fall again, still my favorite season
who knows what happened between these Falls, 
and then - there I was.
No wife, no family, no children, no house
I’d be the end of the line; it all went away 
so fast, and all those people, too!

I looked around the plane for comfort
I knew I wasn’t alone, and on my left
was THE Dalai Lama. On the right,
the window seat, was MAE WEST! 

They noticed me pop up, the Dalai asked 
what happened, I told him; I told him now 
I was the last of the line, no offspring off me,
and he started to laugh ... hahaha! 
So I turned to Mae, who winked at me then 
talked across me directly to His Holiness. 

“What’s so funny, Dalai Lama?” she asked. 

“I am last of line too,” he said. “When I go, 
no more Dalai Lamas. So much suffering in my life,”
he said, laughing again. “I feel like bull born, so to speak, 
in China shop, so of course I go to India, but now 
I take bull by the horns, meaning no more Dalais
but, SO WHAT?” Hahaha. 

“Yesss, well, I understand that a little,” Mae said, 
as they ping-ponged across me. “They were 
always trying to shut me up too, slow me down. 
But here I am. And you, Dalai - you’re lookin’ pretty
sentient. Then here you are,” she said, looking at me. 

“Excuse me, Mae West,” I said, “but if this really is 2015, 
didn’t you die 35 years ago? The very year I got married?”

“Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, eh Dalai?” 

I looked left, back at him. His smile, her blonde hair 
lit up the whole back end of the jet. 

“Maybe, Mae,” he said. “Or maybe you are new 
Dalai Llama, and maybe I used to be - how you say - 
sexy blonde movie star!” 

Now they were both laughing, Dalia Lama's laughter 
sounding like Santa Claus down the chimney at high
speeds; Mae West's laughter like a cat purring in slow motion
under a hot red blanket. 

They both took one hand each from me, 
Dalai took my left and squeezed, Mae West took my right
hand and kissed it, leaving a wet red lipstick tattoo.

“All great mystery with no answer,” said Dalai Lama.
“Also - there is no end of any line. And no line. But,
nothing serious!” Hahahahahaha! 

“Say Dalai, you’re alright. Come up and 
see me sometime. And when you do, namaste awhile.” 

The wink she gave him was so electromagnetic 
it must have thrown off the pilot, the flight 
control tower, and the receding, twinkling Eastern Seaboard.

Meanwhile, I blew up a vomit bag and popped it
to wake myself up, in case I was dreaming again!
Whether I was or wasn’t didn't matter; I felt better. 

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