“All art is erotic.”
Sinews and stretched skin.
Every piece of her coiled like a finger to god.
Enormity in the shape of a woman.
What is this
breathing and whirling
singing through me.
Don’t force and manhandle it.
Try on grace.
Playing the note long
bending it as it unfurls and curls
How big is Mu?
She’s on the stage, us and our dirty fingers all around her
aliveness might explode her.
I can meet her there.
Get out of the way—rip myself open, naked, electric.
She is more than a shape.
I am more than a machine.
Flesh and the living being
the storyless story of the body.
What it’s like to show up
To learn to unlearn.
To see again.
She draws my body to draw her body
drawn like a bow
arrow plunged into our vanishing point.
The teacher in a low voice:
“Feel her body with your mark
Let her body move your mark
Let her body move your body
Feel her body with your body.”
Alive, awake, pointed.
A redwood in a lightning storm.
Charcoal, paper, the tooth, the edge, the flat, the point
the pushing into, the pulling out from,
blowing from the toes.
What it is to be the throbbing, blooming current.
What it is to be the thing and not the thing
the impulse and the response
the feeling and the felt
the curve of her ferocious collarbone and all the time and space collected in it.
I can spend my entire life arranging still lifes.
Positioning self to things, others.
Living in a world of objects and their relations
painted in familiarity
whitewashed in knowing.
Dead ideas projected on the walls of Mystery.
Reality will tear me apart
like a pack of wolves
in an instant.
Beauty is The Beast.
And so, and so, and so
I choose to choose to be a student
training to see the one who sees.
Above all else.
Clearing an invitation inside myself
in the breath of space freed from both the hunger and the ghost
the teeming, spilling universe pours in.
Descending, open and vulnerable, to the wild grasses inside.
Kelli Rose Rien was raised by horses and believes in lightning bolts. She married the immense, unquietable longing to wake up when the nagual Doen Roshi, her teacher and hero, administered her monk’s vows last year. How does someone be a true Zen Artist? That’s a question she’s poking at with more questions, paintbrushes, sweat, and incense sticks. She’s been a member of Lost Coin for not quite long enough to be a beginner yet; she leads the Artists & Scholars Group.