by Ben Koch

Photo © Ben Koch

Meditating on this mind is like serving a monkey spaghetti

or like the endlessness of washing this shirt.


I light some incense and candles,

I scrub every trace of sauce and grease,

those lingering spots of guilt,

until my fingers feel coated with memory.


I purify the breath a nostril at a time,

twist the knob to heavy load and yank,


until a slush of suds engulf the dark stains

of anger, attachment, aversion…,


I lather thoughts in awareness, their rising and falling,

dizzying them in a non-referential spin.

I drag the logged, limp corpse into the dryer,

and toast it for good measure.


I settle mind near the inner heat-light, where impurities

evaporate like mist from the roof of a hot winter hut.

I try it on, still so steaming it brings sweat to my naked perception,

I leave the cushion, mind so wide

I’m walking through it.


But after while it shrinks back to me,

a perfect fit!

Before you know it I’ve got a heaping plate

of worries for dinner,

a forkful of saucy thoughts

like noodles

swinging toward my shirt.

This poem appears in The Frequency of Whispers,

a published collection of Ben Koch’s poetry.


About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of

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