Saturday, June 7, 2014

memory card: kuan yin: 7 june

The old plum tree is boundless. / A hard cold rubs the nostrils. Attend the breath; it is film, banyan, mosaic. Four empty squares grow in Kuan Yin's Waikiki mural. A construction worker in green shirt, white helmet, stands on a scaffold to pull her down, tile by blue tile. Make space for Saks, for Christian Dior. After the war ended, Hongly encountered Khmer Rouge soldiers, one of whom was sick. Asked to take the man to hospital, he drove a wooden cart miles down jungle roads. Fear in the man's eyes, knowing what he must have known. Nine of my family members died in that “hospital,” Hongly said, outside a blue building in Battambang. And then we ate lunch. You cannot see Kuan Yin for her shopping cart, her wall eyes. They're meeting in secret now, sending emails without her address. She called the ambulance when she found a man dying in the bushes. So many maggots, the ambulance driver wouldn't take him in. When asked, Nico Schultz, of Taubman Co., LLC, responded: “We recognize, respect and appreciate the protection and prosperity Buddha and the goddess Quan­­ying have bestowed on the property through their mural for the last 30 years." Toward the end of his life, my father grew more deaf. A maid in Waikiki brought cold water in a bucket for his burned feet. They assure us the old banyan tree will be protected.

                                                                              --7 June 2014

Old palm tree: Dogen 
Kathy J. Phillips has a beautiful book about Kuan Yin, here.
News article on the Kuan Yin mural coming down, here.

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