[what work was (my life as a Nyingma monk)]
I volunteered to thwartadvancing wisteria,
to skim molten slag &pour castings, clean sprues
& wire brush statues14 hours each day. I lacked
sacred vows. I living onTin Barn Road & spotted,
(twice) from my porch, whalesdraped in white bed sheets.
I smoked, marveled at lichenwho grew wild on redwoods. [End Page 144]
Mother Pacific depositedcold in my Carhartt each day.
Am I a Buddha? I thought,knee-deep in concrete pours,
my legs leaden & sapped,my trowel planing the surface,
glasses duct taped, scratchescross-hatching each lens.
I drank Gunpowder tea & losttrack of hours, connections, my crisp
talent for punch lines, askingeach breath for more life [End Page 145]
Kevin Phan is a recent graduate from the Michigan MFA program. He's currently on fellowship. His work can be found in Pleiades, Fiddlehead, Sentence, CutBank, Gulf Coast, and Fence.